ELF intervenes in Supreme Court Case

By Elf

Manchester shipping canal on foggy day.


Last year, the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) was granted permission, alongside the Good Law Project and other campaign organisations, to intervene in a case to protect the rights of people to bring claims against water companies that dump sewage into rivers and seas. This case has now been moved to the Supreme Court. 

The proceedings are between a water company, United Utilities, and the operators of the Manchester Shipping Canal. The case centres around the question of water and sewage undertakers’ rights to discharge sewage into waterways and the private rights of those impacted. Hausfeld has acted for ELF and has been successful in securing the court’s permission to make and submit written and oral submissions plus a Witness Statement that will be lodged in support of the case of the Manchester Ship Canal – MSCCL.

This public interest intervention made by ELF will highlight the wider implications of the case and the urgent need to preserve legal action for those affected by sewage dumping across the UK. This Supreme Court hearing comes at a critical time for the health of the UK’s rivers, with data showing that water companies have discharged raw sewage into rivers over 372,000 times in 2021.

This case will be heard in the Supreme Court on March 6th and 7th. ELF has been represented by the ever-brilliant Hausfeld and lead Counsel Stephen Hockman KC at Six Pump Court Chambers and Tom Cleaver of Blackstone Chambers. This case has been made possible by the Good Law Project and ELF is proud of our association with them and so grateful to our legal team for getting us this far. 

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