• Ministers face legal challenge over cuts to walking and cycling investment in England, The Guardian (Jun 05, 2023)
  • Top lawyers defy bar to declare they will not prosecute peaceful climate protesters, The Guardian (Mar 24, 2023)
  • Court restrictions on climate protesters ‘deeply concerning’, say leading lawyers, The Guardian (Mar 08, 2023)
  • Cabinet ministers warned of legal action over UK’s failure to tackle climate crisis, The Guardian (Mar 04, 2023)
  • Today’s climate activist ‘criminals’ are tomorrow’s heroes: silencing them in court is immoral, George Monbiot, The Guardian (Feb 22, 2023)

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This article focuses on information specific to United Kingdom. Please see our Public interest law resources page for a topic overview.

Public interest law refers to legal practices undertaken to help poor, marginalized, or under-represented people, or to effect change in social policies in the public interest, on 'not for profit' terms (pro bono publico), often in the fields of civil rights, civil liberties, religious liberty, human rights, women's rights, consumer rights, environmental protection, and so on.

In a celebrated 1905 speech, Louis Brandeis decried the legal profession, complaining that "able lawyers have to a large extent allowed themselves to become adjuncts of great corporations and have neglected their obligation to use their powers for the protection of the people."

In the tradition thus exemplified, a common ethic for public-interest lawyers in a growing number of countries remains "fighting for the little guy".

Organisations working with communities[edit | edit source]

The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) is a UK registered charity, dedicated to environmental law and disseminating information on the subject.

News and comment[edit | edit source]


  • Govt’s climate strategy deemed "unlawful" in historic ruling, Friends of the Earth (Jul 18, 2022) — Following victory in court, the government will now have to revise its climate strategy to show how key emissions reduction targets will be met.
  • Charity trustees can invest for positive environmental impact – landmark legal ruling, Pioneers Post (May 05, 2022)
  • Net Zero Strategy: legal challenge granted permission, Friends of the Earth (Mar 02, 2022)


Government accepts it must review its outdated energy policy that has allowed fossil fuel projects to be forced through. This follows judicial review proceedings launched by Good Law Project in March alongside environmentalists Dale Vince and George Monbiot.[1] Oct 2

Can UK fossil fuel companies now be held accountable for contributing to climate change overseas? May 28[2]


Airline bailouts without climate conditions could be unlawful[3] May 5...UK Climate news 2020

The government must abandon its fossil fuel power projects. If not, we'll sue, George Monbiot[4] Mar 4


UK government sued for third time over deadly air pollution, Nov 7[5]...Environment quality UK

ClientEarth threatens UK with legal action as councils miss air pollution targets, Oct 19[6]

Ministers who fail to cut greenhouse gas emissions should face legal action, says former chief government scientist, Sep 27[7]...Climate action UK

See also[edit | edit source]

local information can be found, or shared, via our many UK location pages

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Good Law Project, added 17:52, 3 October 2020 (UTC), not-for-profit campaign organisation that uses the law to protect the interests of the public. Founded by Jolyon Maugham, the Good Law Project states that its mission is to achieve change through the law. W "We defend, define and change the law to uphold democracy, protect the environment and ensure no one is left behind." The organisation's issues include: No-one left behind, Upholding democracy and Protecting the environment. text added 18:46, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
  • EarthRights Solicitors, Resources page on, 28 2 2015

References[edit | edit source]

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