On appeal from: [2016] EWCA Civ 564

The applicant began judicial review proceedings against the Environment Agency’s decision to impose conditions on a salmon fishing licence. He claimed that the catch limit conditions made his fishery wholly uneconomic to operate and a breach of his rights under art 1 of Protocol 1 to the ECHR.

Held, unanimously dismissing the Agency’s appeal. The Court found that that the distinction between expropriation and control under ECtHR case law was neither clear-cut nor crucial to the present analysis. It was necessary to consider whether the effect on the particular claimant was excessive and disproportionate. The fact that the conditions imposed by the Agency were closer to deprivation than mere control was clearly relevant to the fair balance. The Agency gave no consideration to the particular impact on the applicant’s livelihood, which was severe. The national authorities have a wide margin of discretion in the imposition of necessary environmental controls, and A1P1 gives no general expectation of compensation for adverse effects. Furthermore, where (unlike this case) the authorities have given proper consideration to the issues of fair balance, the courts should give weight to their assessment.

For judgment, please download: [2018] UKSC 10
For Court’s Press Summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (13 Dec 2017 morning session) (13 Dec 2017 afternoon session)