HS2 judicial review - strength of legal case?

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brianthegiant

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Presumably the anti-groups must think they have a legal case or they wouldn't fork out 6 figures. (unless its wishful tinking drivenby powerful emotions)

But equally the government has known for a long time that legal action was a possibility, will have sought legal advice on its consultation etc, and generally covered its arse.

Has anyone on here looked in detail at the case presented by the anti-groups, in the context of relevant case law?

This thread is intended specifically for discussion of this HS2 legal question. other matters to do with line of route whether it should happen etc should go in other threads which already exist.
 
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Nym

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I'd say some of the local councils and the list of persons on the No to HS2 website would be a start, theres some pretty rich councils and orginisations on there.
 
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Just had a look on the Stop HS2 website, (Christ what a load of nonsense!) The legal challenges seem to be based on the government’s failure to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment before deciding whether to proceed with HS2 or not, but surely that can only be done once a decision is reached on the final route?
 

ralphchadkirk

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Don't fall into the error that assuming that because the Government are the government they will have their arse covered and their case will be watertight. I can think of a number of Supreme Court cases where the Government have lost.
 

Snapper

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Just had a look on the Stop HS2 website, (Christ what a load of nonsense!) The legal challenges seem to be based on the government’s failure to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment before deciding whether to proceed with HS2 or not, but surely that can only be done once a decision is reached on the final route?
Indeed.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/hs2-review-of-appraisal-of-sustainability/

According to DfT:

"If a decision is taken to proceed with HS2 London to West Midlands we would undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) necessary to accompany the hybrid bill required to authorise the proposals."

Also:

http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/hs2-places-25m-of-environmental-consultancy-work

So, the grounds for a judicial review are looking rather rocky...
 

Wath Yard

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Don't fall into the error that assuming that because the Government are the government they will have their arse covered and their case will be watertight. I can think of a number of Supreme Court cases where the Government have lost.
In fact it can be fairly safely assumed that the Government won't have covered its arse. All Governments are constantly challenged, and when you look at the complete and utter mess this Government has got itself into over the last couple of weeks making an assumption about its competence is unwise.
 

Robbies

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Part of that assessment is whether Euston Station can cope with the extra trains and passengers from HS2. I know on BBC London tonight, they are saying that there is going to be about 500 homes mostly from blocks of flats demolished because of HS2.
 

Nym

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Part of that assessment is whether Euston Station can cope with the extra trains and passengers from HS2. I know on BBC London tonight, they are saying that there is going to be about 500 homes mostly from blocks of flats demolished because of HS2.
Wow, I never knew that from looking at the prefered route...

I think the number is actually a lot closer to 117, and it doesn't supprise me that the BBC up until now hasn't reported this, they seem incapable of actually reading reports properly.
 

chris eaglen

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Try the Decision No 661/2010/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 7th July 2010 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (recast). Also review the 5 directives relevant for TEN-T.

HS2 did on iterate the options and the topology/ecology very well and the challenges are simply following the EU guidance.

Hopefully DFT and HS2 will agree to review the route selection which has some shortcomings and the operational requirements.
 

Robbies

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There is also details from the BBC's website under http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17598342 of 15 local Authorities that are planning to take the Government to court.

I think bang have gone the chances of having HS2 up and running by 2025, I think it is more likely 2055, by which time I might just about still be around to enjoy riding on it.
 

SS4

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Perhaps they're stalling for time? It's almost like a self fulfilling prophecy:
  1. State that HS2 won't be done on time or on budget
  2. Seek judicial reviews and other delaying tactics
  3. Forcing HS2 to not be done on time
  4. Crow in victory using heavily biased media
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Wow, I never knew that from looking at the prefered route...

I think the number is actually a lot closer to 117, and it doesn't supprise me that the BBC up until now hasn't reported this, they seem incapable of actually reading reports properly.
You'd be forgiven for thinking there had been any sort of fact checking done if the news report were to be believed :roll:

OT: Another HS2 thread? What happened to that megathread all those months ago that was meant to contain HS2 discussion to a single thread :/
 

Robbies

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Perhaps they're stalling for time? It's almost like a self fulfilling prophecy:
  1. State that HS2 won't be done on time or on budget
  2. Seek judicial reviews and other delaying tactics
  3. Forcing HS2 to not be done on time
  4. Crow in victory using heavily biased media
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


You'd be forgiven for thinking there had been any sort of fact checking done if the news report were to be believed :roll:

OT: Another HS2 thread? What happened to that megathread all those months ago that was meant to contain HS2 discussion to a single thread :/
I think the megathread went the way of HS2 may go if there is too mucj opposition to it, which is to say I think it got mothballed.
 

WatcherZero

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They dont seriously think they will win, they just think if they throw up enough fuss and noise they can prevent the bill being approved this parliament, they could then run candidates on an anti-hs2 platform at the next general election.
 

Gareth

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I think the Liverpool City Region authorities would have a very good case, as this scheme will finalize what 50 years of Granada Reports, Whitehall North West and an artificially bloated Ringway Airport has all worked towards; shrinking Liverpool into a small satellite town within Greater Manchester.

Of course, none of the local authorities would dare because a/ the local politicians here are beyond naive & stupid and b/ Liverpool's become conditioned into being tame and not challenging anything, in case anyone down in Fleet Street says anything bad about the city.
 

Snapper

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Try the Decision No 661/2010/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 7th July 2010 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (recast). Also review the 5 directives relevant for TEN-T.

HS2 did on iterate the options and the topology/ecology very well and the challenges are simply following the EU guidance.

Hopefully DFT and HS2 will agree to review the route selection which has some shortcomings and the operational requirements.
Eh?

Exactly how are any of those things meant to support a legal challenge?
 

John55

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I think the Liverpool City Region authorities would have a very good case, as this scheme will finalize what 50 years of Granada Reports, Whitehall North West and an artificially bloated Ringway Airport has all worked towards; shrinking Liverpool into a small satellite town within Greater Manchester.

Of course, none of the local authorities would dare because a/ the local politicians here are beyond naive & stupid and b/ Liverpool's become conditioned into being tame and not challenging anything, in case anyone down in Fleet Street says anything bad about the city.
Stop being pathetic.
 

Greenback

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I think the Liverpool City Region authorities would have a very good case, as this scheme will finalize what 50 years of Granada Reports, Whitehall North West and an artificially bloated Ringway Airport has all worked towards; shrinking Liverpool into a small satellite town within Greater Manchester.

Of course, none of the local authorities would dare because a/ the local politicians here are beyond naive & stupid and b/ Liverpool's become conditioned into being tame and not challenging anything, in case anyone down in Fleet Street says anything bad about the city.
Ah, that old chestnut again. :lol::lol::lol:
 

Rational Plan

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To quote a good turn of phrase. 'Lawyers are like Taxis, you get in, pay your fare and they will take where you want to go'. In other words Lawyers rarely discourage clients from spending more money.

Also those local councils know HS2 is unpopular along the route, so the need to show they have exhausted all avenues in opposition to the scheme, even if they don't really believe they will succeed.
 

Padav

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For those questioning the tactics and motivations driving the Anti-HS2 brigade - just visit some of the sites, STOPHS2, HS2AA, 51M Group, etc. and peruse the dialogue. It doesn't take long to understand that the world is split into two halves;

Those that see HS2 and all of its associated machinations as an evil government funded plot designed deliberately to lay waste to a relatively small geographical area in and around the approved ROUTE3 option pathway, in which 99% of those populating the anti-HS2 Brigade just happen to reside

and

Those that don't

Delusional paranoia is de rigeur. The underlying strategy becomes clear once you comprehend the carefully hidden yet remorseless agenda. Any objection will do, provided it delivers the desired outcome; namely removing the threat posed by construction of HS2 from their immediate environment. If this means dumping the problem in someone else's backyard by getting the route moved; fine by them. Consideration of the UK's long term transport needs, required to facilitate a thriving economy, is immaterial, an annoying distraction.

Are there a number of well heeled supporters prepared to stump up serious dosh to fund a judicial review - you bet there are - just take a trip round the leafy lanes of Wendover, Amersham, Great Missenden, et al and you'll soon discover that the area oozes affluence. Are they willing to take the fight to the courts to preserve their cosy, undisturbed lifestyle ; of course they are!

We'll know soon enough if their legal case has legs - a judge will be appointed to review the supporting evidence and a decision whether or not to proceed will be reached fairly quickly - if that decision is negative, expect it to be challenged as well. The legal challenge will actually be split into two elements, one based on environmental aspects and the other related to due process during the official consultation period.

I'm 99.9% confident that both challenges will fail abysmally but I don't have access to the evidence so there is always the potential for some kind of fundamental cock-up having taken place, which throws a spanner in the works. I'd be suprised if the govt. gets off untarnished - I'm expecting criticism of some of the procedures followed but endorsement of the decision to proceed.

In the end I think the challenges fall into the bracket of delaying tactics, pure and simple. This secondary motive will almost certainly fail as well - HS2 Ltd, acting on behalf of the government, is pressing ahead regardless, setting up the initial stages of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) simultaneously with progress of the Judicial Review - in other words full steam ahead - the Hybrid Bill, essentially an enabling piece of legislation, will enter Parliament on 25th October 2013 and receive Royal Assent (pass into Statute - become Law) sometime around the beginning of February 2015, approx 3 months before the next General Election. Given that all mainstream parties support HS2/High Speed Rail, the outcome of the election is irrelevant.

Phase 1 construction will probably begin sometime towards the Autumn of 2016, at which point the project becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once initiated the project will be more expensive to cancel than it is to complete.
 
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nerd

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Sorting these out in the reports is a bit tricky, as the journos don't understand which is which.

A. The HS2 Action Alliance is a group of (mainly) individual objectors. They are launching two separate judicial reviews:

1 - that the compensation scheme for property blight announced in January 2012 is inconsistent with the principles set out in the consultation document and ministerial statements in February 2011. Basically, they claim that ministers promised that the compensation scheme would be as 'generous' as possible, when the scheme eventually proposed is much less generous than that being offerd by BAA around Heathrow.

Could the objectors win? Not unlikely; but that would not delay the scheme, only force the Government to come up with a new compensation scheme.

2 - that HS2 ltd failed to publish a 'Strategic Environmental Assessment' beofre teh consultation as required for policies and programmes impacting on the environment under European law. HS2 did publish an 'Appraisal of Sustainability' before the consultation, which they (and the Government) claim covered the topics required for an SEA. This is accepted by HS2AA; but they claim that the AoS did not go into enough detail.

Could the objectors win? Much less possible; but it would turn on how much detail the court beleive should have been in the AoS for it to represent a valid SEA for the purposes of consulation. (note that there is nothing here about a detailed 'Evironmental Impact Assessment'; there will still need to be one of those, but it does not have to precede the consultation). If the court find in favour of the objectors, there will need to be a second, environmental, consultation.

B. 51m is a group of objecting local authorities - who put forward one of the main strategic alternatives that was considered (and rejected) by Network Rail in December 2011. They are launching only one action, but on two counts.

1. - that the consultation was fatally deficient in that the full details of the Phase 2 routes (Manc and Leeds) had not been made public. Hence, in thei terms, objectors from the North and Midlands were disenfrachised by being denied access to full information.

Could the obejctors win? Most unlikely. The Government can validly argue that they needed to split the bill in two for reasons of parliamentary business. Objectors from the North will be able to have their say when the Phase 2 route goes out for full public consultation.

2. - that ministers acted irrationally and unreasonably in accepting HS2 ltd's proposal for a London terminus at Euston, without committing to providing additonal Tube or Crossrail 2 lines to carry the extra numbers of arriving passengers. This is basically Boris's objection; that if money is to be spent on transport infrastructure, London is always entitled to receive the lion's share; so spending £32bn on high speed rail should imply a counterpart £20bn or so on upgrading London's rapid transit systems specfically in building Crossrail 2 through Euston.

Could the objectors win? Just about possible. On the face of it, HS2 will be diverting extra passenger numbers that would othewise have come along the ECML into Euston. So some expansion of within-London capacity would appear to be implied. HS2's response is that all Euston-bound HS services will also stop at Old Oak Common; where around a half are expected to alight and travel into London on Crossrail, London overground, Bakerloo and Central lines. Hence the acknowledged need for extra capacity is regarded by the Goverment as being addressed through the investment in Crossrail 1. 51m object to this; arguing that the extra capacity of Crossrail 1 is fully required for internal traffic generated within London, and so cannot validly be counted as available for HS2 arrivers.

But, while the courts have proved generally receptive to requiring re-run consultation exercises; they have proved very unwilling to second-guess minister's judgements on evidence presented to them. For Londoners it may seem obvious that Crossrail 1 is a tranport enhancement that they have long been entitled to have provided anyway; but the courts would need to be convinced that the Government was flying the face of the evidence, in suggesting that there would be capacity in Old Oak Common to take HS2 passengers - even though this could mean that there might clearly be insufficient capacity on Crossrail 1 for potential boarders from the GWML at Paddington.
 

Clip

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I think the Liverpool City Region authorities would have a very good case, as this scheme will finalize what 50 years of Granada Reports, Whitehall North West and an artificially bloated Ringway Airport has all worked towards; shrinking Liverpool into a small satellite town within Greater Manchester.

Of course, none of the local authorities would dare because a/ the local politicians here are beyond naive & stupid and b/ Liverpool's become conditioned into being tame and not challenging anything, in case anyone down in Fleet Street says anything bad about the city.

Including the premiership title :lol:


Oh, and the media moved out of fleet street years ago.
 

chris eaglen

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Quote 2: that HS2 ltd failed to publish a 'Strategic Environmental Assessment' beofre teh consultation as required for policies and programmes impacting on the environment under European law. HS2 did publish an 'Appraisal of Sustainability' before the consultation, which they (and the Government) claim covered the topics required for an SEA. This is accepted by HS2AA; but they claim that the AoS did not go into enough detail.

Could the objectors win? Much less possible; but it would turn on how much detail the court beleive should have been in the AoS for it to represent a valid SEA for the purposes of consulation. (note that there is nothing here about a detailed 'Evironmental Impact Assessment'; there will still need to be one of those, but it does not have to precede the consultation). If the court find in favour of the objectors, there will need to be a second, environmental, consultation.

NO SEA process was completed for HS2 todate. The AOS was not scoped to meet the requirements of the SEA. Suggest the reading of the AOS based on limited maps was primarily a desk top overview without local resourcing and knowledge which missed significant issue. It was not scoped for construction phase land take and issues arising.

Article (15) says: In order to contribute to more transparent decision making and with the aim of ensuring that the information supplied for the assessment is comprehensive and reliable, it is necessary to provide that authorities with relevant environmental responsibilities and the public are to be consulted during the assessment of plans and programmes, and that appropriate time frames are set, allowing sufficient time for consultations, including the expression of opinion.

Insufficient time and space was provided. The omissions and assumptions make the document as sizable as it is inadequate for particular locations and communities to assess impacts and as such it is not an Appraisal but a preliminary broad commencement to a requirement that no party resourced adequately.
 

brianthegiant

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OT: Another HS2 thread? What happened to that megathread all those months ago that was meant to contain HS2 discussion to a single thread :/
My thinking is that HS2 is such a large project with an array of different issues (route, stock, legal, financial) that there is an argument for having more than one thread. problem with a mega-thread is that it goes off in so many different directions its hard to follow specific issues. Having a seperate thread for this specific legal issue, seems to be working quite well.
 

LE Greys

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My opinion: If this isn't an arguement for streamlining the planning system, I don't know what is. I reckon that, as usual, once it's up and running people will be perfectly happy to start with, then start complaining that it's too slow/overcrowded/doesn't serve the right places. We enjoy whinging in this country.
 

Snapper

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Quote 2: that HS2 ltd failed to publish a 'Strategic Environmental Assessment' beofre teh consultation as required for policies and programmes impacting on the environment under European law.
The law doesn't say that a 'Strategic Environmental Assessment' has to be published before the consultation.
 
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nerd

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The law doesn't say that a 'Strategic Environmental Assessment' has to be published before the consultation.
An SEA has to be published for consultation; it does not need to be published before the formal consultation on the scheme proposal. So, if the judicial review finds against the DfT on this, there is no need to run the full consultation again, only to consult on a reworked SEA.

Which - given the Hybrid Bill procedure - means that the project as a whole is not necessarily delayed.
 
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