Cut in fishing quotas deemed unfair
30 May 2013
Lord Uist has found that the former Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD), now Marine Scotland, perpetrated a "blatant breach of natural justice" with regard to the way in which fishing quotas were cut in 2007. The cut in fishing quotas was the result of widely publicised over-fishing by UK and Irish vessels in 2001-2004. SEERAD decided to reduce quota allocations for the years 2007-2012, but declined to provide the evidence underlying their calculations as to the extent to which quotas were to be cut.
In The Petition of the Christina S for Judicial Review, the owners of one of the vessels affected by the quota cuts challenged the decision of SEERAD to impose such cuts, arguing that in the absence of disclosure of the evidence underpinning the cuts natural justice had not been observed. Lord Uist agreed, describing the breach as blatant, and ordered the reduction of the decision to impose the cuts. A further hearing has been allowed on the subject of damages.
Roddy Dunlop QC, of Axiom Advocates, was senior counsel for the Petitioners.
[ Back to news page ]