Justice for Hen Harriers – the appeal

The date is set for our (and the RSPB’s) appeal against the judgment in our judicial reviews challenging the legality of brood meddling.

I challenged the legality of Natural England’s licensing of this otherwise illegal act on the grounds that there are legal alternatives to brood meddling that Natural England unlawfully ignored and failed to consider. The learned judge disagreed and said that this was just a bit of research and there isn’t an alternative to doing a bit of research.

Our appeal says, amongst other things, and far more cleverly, that the only point of the research was for a conservation purpose and therefore there are other alternatives that have to be considered and weren’t.

These are clearly legal points and so the rights and wrongs of them will be decided in court, in the Court of Appeal, by three judges in a day and a half on 17 and 18 March. I’ll be there and I’m assuming that there will be fewer mentions of Hen Harriers and the arguments will stick to the legal points pretty closely. My legal team are very keen to make this challenge, both because they are now all Hen Harrier advocates but also because they believe that the legal issues are important (and they clearly think the judge got this wrong).

Our skeleton legal argument has been submitted/lodged/handed in, whatever is the correct legal term, and it’s not long until we are in court again.

I’m soon going to be asking you for financial support for this case to the tune of £10,500. It’s not quite that steep an ask though because, you may not remember, our successful and very important challenge against Natural England on the Walshaw Moor case (see here, here, here, here) provides nearly £4000 in funds that were not needed for that case and have been sitting quietly in the Crowdjustice coffers waiting for deployment elsewhere. Look out for a crowdfunder coming soon please.

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