Environment Agency liable to pay damages for breach of Convention Rights

February 27, 2018

R (on the application of Mott) v Environment Agency [2018] UKSC 10

On 14 February 2018, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in R (Mott) v Environment Agency [2018] UKSC 10, dismissing the Environment Agency’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s ruling that it was liable to pay compensation under section 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 for breaching Respondent’s right to peaceful enjoyment of his possessions under Protocol 1 Article 1 (“A1P1”) of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”).

The Respondent, Mr Nigel Mott, a commercial salmon fisherman operated a putcher rank fishery on the Severn estuary, sought judicial review of the Agency’s decisions from 2012 to impose a condition on his licence limiting his annual catch very substantially. Although the catch limit conditions limited Mr Mott’s catch by 95%, the Agency paid him no compensation.

Mr Mott successfully contended in the High Court and the Court of Appeal that, under A1P1, the Agency could not properly have imposed the conditions, if otherwise lawful, without payment of compensation. Against the background of the ECtHR case law, the Supreme Court was unable to fault the judge’s analysis of the applicable legal principles in this case.

For a copy of the judgment please click here