Friends of the Earth Ltd, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food And Rural Affairs  EWHC 3283 (Admin) (12 November 2015)
This case is about the placing on the market of plant protection products under Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. In derogation from the common rules of the Regulation, in special circumstances a Member State may authorise the placing on the market of plant protection products, for limited and controlled use, where such a measure appears necessary because of a danger which cannot be contained by any other reasonable means.
The meaning of the words “special circumstances” in that Article is not defined. Their application is a matter of judgment for the decision maker in the relevant factual context. What ”reasonable means” are again is a question for determination in each individual case. In the present proceedings the claimant seeks judicial review of the defendant’s decision to grant authorisations for emergency use of two pesticides ”Modesto” and ”Cruiser OSR”.
The grounds of challenge can be summarised as follows: there was no proper consideration as to whether the risk posed to oilseed rape was an emergency such as to justify authorisation; there was a failure to consider any other reasonable means; there was no compliance with the requirement that the authorisation should be controlled. However based on the facts of the case the court rejected the claimant’s grounds and held that they were not arguable.
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