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Nicholas Chapman, led by Sir James Eadie QC, acted for the Secretary of State on the very high-profile and important judicial review of the Environment Secretary’s decision to prevent the introduction of badger culling in Derbyshire in 2019, involving allegations that the Prime Minister and his partner Carrie Symonds improperly interfered in the decision-making process.
The High Court dismissed the claim on all grounds, holding that the Secretary of State was not bound by his own statutory guidance, that no substantive or procedural legitimate expectation arose despite the very late stage at which the decision was made, and that – even though the scientific evidence strongly favoured the introduction of culling in the county – the executive was entitled to a wide margin of appreciation in a field involving difficult and controversial political and ethical value judgments.
The judgment can be viewed here.