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Pursuing Legal Remedies

While legal actions are usually costly and timeconsuming, there are an increasing number of public interest law firms able to provide free or reduced-fee advise and representation to citizens and citizen groups. These include Sierra Legal Defense Fund, West Coast Environmental Law Association, and the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

There are four main types of legal action available to citizens and citizen groups to protect the environment:

  • statutory appeals and rights of action
  • judicial review
  • private prosecutions
  • common law tort actions.

Link to policy primer.

Back to Citizen's Toolkit

Case study:

The Deputy Director of Waste Management (of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks) had issued a permit for the operation of a hazardous waste incinerator to Bennett Remediation Services without first considering restrictions vital to protection of the airshed and people’s health.

Taylor Environmentally Concerned Citizens (TECC) along with a couple of other NGOs retained a Sierra Legal Defence Fund lawyer and appealed this decision before the Environmental Appeal Board.

Full Case study