The Scottish Government held a consultation seeking views on a number of topics relating to environmental governance in Scotland – including whether the current arrangements are effective and appropriate following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, whether the law in Scotland on access to justice on environmental matters is sufficient, and whether the establishment of an environmental court could enhance governance arrangements.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) are working together to develop a UK PVS Strategy spanning five years. They held a consultation to invite ideas from any interested parties across the UK to feed into the strategy.
The Scottish Government held a consultation seeking views on proposals for legislation to develop Scotland’s circular economy. The consultation sets out a number of areas in which Scottish Government are seeking views on whether to take powers within a new Circular Economy Bill, including in relation to Strategic Interventions; Reduce and Reuse; Recycle; and Littering and Improving Enforcement.
Environmental Standards Scotland held a consultation seeking views and comments on ESS’ draft Strategic Plan - a statement about how ESS will work to scrutinise, investigate and secure improvements in public authorities’ compliance with environmental law, the effectiveness of environmental law, and the way it is being implemented and applied in Scotland.
Find out more on the Scottish Government website
Read our response
Murdo Fraser MSP held a consultation on a proposal for a Bill to reduce the incidence of fly-tipping by introducing new measures and strengthening existing measures to prevent it, including by improving data collection, improving enforcement procedures, increasing penalties for offenders, and by making changes regarding liability for the removal of fly-tipped waste.
DEFRA held a consultation on the Nature Recovery Green Paper: Protected Sites and Species which includes options to bring clarity and coherence to the framework for protected sites; to reform species protections; and to modernise funding arrangements.
The UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland are working together to develop a central digital waste tracking service and held a joint consultation to seek views on the implementation of this service.
Marine Scotland held a consultation as one of the final stages in the process of updating the Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland. The consultation seeks input from the public and other organisations to finalise the strategy and action plan before it is published.
The Scottish Government held a consultation – which was drafted in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) – seeking views on the aims, objectives and actions that will sit under the new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy for Scotland.
The Scottish Government has committed to reviewing the role of incineration in the waste hierarchy in Scotland, to ensure that how residual waste is managed in Scotland aligns with Scotland’s carbon reduction ambitions. As part of the review, the Scottish Government launched a call for evidence to obtain views and evidence on a range of topics.
The Scottish Government held a consultation seeking views on draft guidance under the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 concerning the duty to have due regard to five guiding principles on the environment. The purpose of the consultation was to ensure that the statutory guidance meets its aim of supporting and guiding Ministers and public authorities in meeting their legal obligations.
The UK Government has set a target of eliminating all 'avoidable' plastic waste by 2042, with a shorter-term ambition to “work towards” only recyclable, reusable or compostable plastic packaging being placed on the market by 2025. Measures they have announced include a plastic packaging tax, a deposit return scheme, and banning some single-use plastics, like straws.
This inquiry scrutinises the level of the Government’s ambition, whether current measures on plastic waste go far enough, and how alternatives to plastic consumption can be identified and supported.
In March 2021 the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) consulted on the draft policy statement on environmental principles which applies to England and sets out how those five internationally recognised environmental principles should be interpreted and proportionately applied.
- Our response, submitted in June 2021, recognised the interaction with environmental principles for Scotland.
We have responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Draft Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products and Oxo-degradable Plastic Products) (Scotland) Regulations 2021.
The draft regulations propose introducing market restrictions – effectively a ban – for problematic single-use plastic (SUP) items and all oxo-degradable products in line with Article 5 of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (EU) 2019/904.
Read the Scottish Government consultation.
Read our response.
The House of Lords EU Environment sub-committee launched a short inquiry on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement as it relates to its remit: energy, environment, health, food trade, agriculture, fishing, climate change and chemicals. The inquiry focuses on the provisions in the Agreement, any challenges that arise, and where UK-EU relations should go from here.
- The Law Society's response
The Scottish Government published an update to Securing a Green Recovery on a Path to Net Zero: Climate Change Plan 2018–2032 in December 2020. The Scottish Parliament subsequently issued a short consultation across the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee; Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee; Local Government and Communities Committee; and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee.
The Scottish Government held a consultation on proposals for establishing a Scottish Nitrogen Balance Sheet, as required by the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.
The Scottish Government held a consultation on proposals to introduce market restrictions – effectively a ban – on the most commonly littered single-use plastic items found on European beaches (October 2020)
- Read the Law Society of Scotland's response (December 2020)
The Scottish Government sought views on proposals for new or updated environmental standards for Scotland’s water environment, and updates to some of the assessment methods used for deriving such standards (October 2020).
- Read the Law Society of Scotland's submission (December 2020)
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has a statutory duty to consult on any revision to its guidance. They have proposed significant changes to their process for determining Variable Monetary Penalties (VMPs) and accordingly asked for views.
- Read the consultation on SEPA's website
- Read the Law Society of Scotland's response (December 2020)
Our Mental Health and Disability, Environmental Law Sub-committees and Criminal Law Committee have responded to the Department for Transport and UK Space Agency’s consultation on Spaceport and spaceflight activities: regulations and guidance.
The UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee launched an inquiry into biodiversity and ecosystems, examining how best to protect and enhance biodiversity, while considering nature-based solutions to climate change and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) issued a consultation seeking views on its proposal to vary a bespoke condition included in some permits granted under the Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (EASR) on the receipt of radioactive waste and the holding of contaminated items.
We provided a joint response to two SEPA consultations, Significant Water Management Issues for Scotland and The challenges facing our water environment in the Solway Tweed.
- View our response
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation to gather views from industry, regulators and other stakeholders on Scotland’s first industry guidance for the eventual decommissioning of offshore renewable energy infrastructure.
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on Scotland's Low Emission Zones: Regulations and Guidance to seek opinions on issues of a technical nature that underpin the operation and delivery of Low Emission Zones (LEZs), including the substantive issue of emission standards, exemptions and penalty charges.
The Scottish Government's Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has issued an inquiry on The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020: accompanying statement and proposed regulations.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued a consultation on the Scottish forestry and wood processing sector.
- View the consultation on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency website
- The Law Society of Scotland's response (September 2019)
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on the Handling of waste: amendment to legislation
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has issued a consultation on measures to reduce the amount of unnecessary and difficult to recycle packaging and increase the amount of packaging that can and is recycled.
- View the consultation on the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs website.
- View the Law Society of Scotland's response (May 2019)
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued a series of consultations on its sector plans for the challenges of tommorrow.
- View the consultations on SEPA's website
- Read our response to the crop production sector plan
- Read our response to the dairy production sector plan
- Read our response to the dairy processing sector plan
- Read our response to the chemical manufacturing sector plan
- Read our response to the housing sector plan
- Read our response to the leather sector plan
- Read our response to the nuclear power sector plan
- Read our response to the strategic infrastructure sector plan
- Read our response to the water sector plan
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee have launched a joint call for written evidence for pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued a consultation on how it will work with the tyre sector; from those who commission, design and manufacture tyres through to the businesses and operators who use, collect, recycle and recover waste tyres.
The Scottish Parliament's Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee received a notification from the Cabinet Secretary on the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 on 2 October 2018.
- The Law Society of Scotland's comments (October 2018)
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on the options for distinct elements of a deposit return scheme on beverage containers, seeking views on which options will deliver the best results for Scotland.
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee launches an inquiry into the Government’s proposals for a new environmental watchdog and its proposals to bring environmental principles into UK law after leaving the EU.
The Scottish Civil Justice Council has issued a consultation to seek views on draft rules for Protective Expenses Orders (PEOs). The draft rules seek to ensure that, where applicable, the rules regulating applications for PEOs in environmental proceedings operate so as to give proper effect to the requirement under the Aarhus Convention and European Union Law that proceedings should be 'not prohibitively expensive'.
The Scottish Government and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) have issued a consultation that sets out proposals for a new integrated environmental authorisation framework for SEPA. The new framework plans to bring together the authorisation, procedural and enforcement arrangements for existing environmental protection regimes relating to water, waste, radioactive substances and pollution prevention and control.