13th May 2020
Nicholas Chapman appeared on behalf of the Environment Secretary in his successful defence to the judicial review of the decision to prevent the introduction of badger culling in Derbyshire in 2019. The high-profile and important case, which has been widely reported in the press, involved allegations that the Prime Minister and his fiancée Carrie Symonds improperly interfered in the decision-making process.
The High Court today handed down its judgment dismissing the National Farmers Union’s claim on all grounds. The court (Andrews J) held that, even though the scientific evidence strongly favoured the introduction of culling in the county, the Government was entitled to a wide margin of appreciation in a field involving difficult and controversial political and ethical value judgments. It also found that the Secretary of State was not bound by his own statutory guidance, and that no substantive or procedural legitimate expectation arose despite the very late stage at which the decision was made and the absence of any consultation or forewarning.
Nicholas was led by Sir James Eadie QC.
The judgment can be viewed here.