The right to clean air in the ClientEarth case at the European Court of Justice

On 19 November 2014 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on case C-404/13 ClientEarth. The case had been referred to it by the UK Supreme Court in July 2013 under the ‘preliminary reference’ procedure. This allows national courts to refer cases to the ECJ where they are unsure how to interpret EU law. The UK Supreme Court asked four questions relating to the interpretation of the 2008 Ambient Air Quality Directive (the 'Directive'). This ruling was the ECJ’s answer to these questions and the first ECJ ruling on the Directive (previous cases concerned earlier air quality directives). This ruling binds the UK Supreme Court, which will now have to apply it to the facts in the UK case. It also sets an EU law precedent and therefore is binding on national courts in all EU member states. This report sets out the analysis and next steps.

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Published December 15, 2014
Found in Air PollutionEU ReferendumHealthHealthy Air