Back Climate Agenda Charles Tells Judges; Prince Makes First Public Bid to Influence Courts

Daily Mail (London), September 30, 2015 | Go to article overview

Back Climate Agenda Charles Tells Judges; Prince Makes First Public Bid to Influence Courts


Byline: Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspondent

PRINCE Charles has urged judges to swing the courts behind the campaign to combat climate change.

He told them the judiciary will be asked to rule on legal challenges over environmental regulations and 'courts will play a crucial role'.

In a letter to a conference on climate change attended by senior judges, the Prince of Wales said they should 'discuss ways courts can support the achievement of climate change goals'. The Prince added: 'You can help to inform the public and fellow members of your profession that we must act urgently to prevent the disastrous consequences of global warming. 'Achievement of legally binding goals such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions are long-term aims that independent courts may be called upon to oversee.' The call is his first public attempt to influence the judiciary. It follows controversy over years of 'black spider memos' in his distinctive writing to ministers lobbying for pet projects. The move risks again exposing the future king to concern over his willingness to involve himself in highly contentious political disputes, particularly over whether state limits on greenhouse gas emissions are necessary or beneficial.

The independence of the judiciary remains a deeply sensitive source of tension between politicians and judges since Tony Blair's reforms of the 2000s were seen by many as exposing the courts to political influence.

In his letter to the Climate Change and the Courts conference, Charles also praised the EU and UN environment campaigns in a manner likely to upset Eurosceptics and some Tories.

The event at King's College London was held with the backing of the Supreme Court. …

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