Sources of Law and areas of Law in Common Law Countries
Notion of common law and its features
Common law has its origin in XI century and now exists in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand. This system law is regarded uncodified and is based on the case law as the main source of the interpretation of the rules. This statement implies that cases considered by the courts in the previous years should be respected and taken by the followers as the examples of notorious behavior accepted by the society. Therefore, the system of common law accepts the pivotal role of the precedent in the society. Besides, the common law includes the statutes which are applied by the judges, such as the Commercial code, etc.
In addition, the main distinctive feature between these two systems of law is the binding force of the precedents. In particular, within civil law system the judges should apply and interpret the legislation by virtue of existing legal norms, while in the common law system the judges are obliged to provide the parties to particular dispute with the recommendation and guidance as it was held in the similar disputes earlier. In this respect, the case law in common law is obligatory, however the civil law cases do not have such force.
Difference between public and private law
All relations between the individuals, business entities, states are governed by different branches of law and legislation. In this regard, all spheres can be divided into two groups based on the subject of the relationship – private or public law. Therefore, public law represents the complex of legislation that regulates the relationship between the state and the individual as separate and independent subject of law. According to this statement, public law covers the constitutional, administrative and criminal law. In contrast to this, private law governs the relationships between individuals and companies. This complex of legislation includes civil law, tort law, etc. Besides, the public law has the wider scope of exercising the management of the relationships as it involves the state as the main subject.
Comparison of case law and statutes
Practice Statement 1966
This document represents the act announced by Lord Gardiner LC in order to change the role and force of the precedent in the system of common law, in particular, in the UK. The aim of this document was to stand beyond the role of prior case law so that the judges could have the opportunity to leave behind the cases which were interpreted previously in the bad manner. The key pillars of this act are the following: 1) the House has the power to change the existing case law and has the opportunity to depart from the previous cases in the interpretation of new ones; 2) the legal power to leave behind the previous case law could be exercised under particular conditions; 3) the power to depart from the case law appears due to the nature of particular case if it does not contradict to the basic rules and principles of the current legislation. However, the extent of application the Practice Statement of 1966 has still not been clarified.
Pepper V. Hart H.L. 1992
This case is the landmark decision which changed the approach of the judges to the interpretation of the statutory documents and the related official correspondence such as the negotiating history, discussions during the adoption of the act, etc. The case was brought by the teachers due to the low amount of tuition fee, while the tax office disregarded the role of the teachers to the school and calculate the fee accordingly to the tax fees. Furthermore, this case involved the issue of the admissibility of judicial reference to the parliament debates. Thus, in this case the court concluded that the reference to Hansard could be made under the certain circumstances in order to assist to the interpretation of the cases involving the ambiguous meaning of the legislation. Thus, the court overruled the principle that parliamentary privilege prevails. It delivered the opinion that in case the primary legal acts have the ambiguous meaning so the judge could refer to the supplementary correspondence such as the statements on behalf of the House of Commons and House of Lords in order to interpret the legislation in the proper manner. Hansard therein should be understood as the transcripts and official correspondence of the parliamentary debates taking place in the UK and other Commonwealth states. This code of legal acts is regarded as one of the sources of the common law system.
R (Prudential PLC) v. Special commissioner of Income Tax 2013 UKSC 1/ 6,35,38,49,50,146
In this case the judges were requested to consider the scope of advice privilege which is referred to all correspondence between the lawyers with their clients for the performance of legal obligations. Due to the fact that inspector has ordered the statutory notice to introduce particular documents related to the tax sphere, the company has refused to perform this action based on the legal advice given by the accountants of this company. Therefore, the judges should have to consider whether the advice given by the accountants should be covered by the legal privilege. In the end of the day, the court dismissed the appeal and ordered that legal advice privilege does not cover the communications related to the advice given by the individuals not belonging to the legal profession. In addition, it is quite difficult to define the limits of the group of certain profession and the court has no power to decide upon this issue in every case. Furthermore, as the Parliament of the U.K. has issued the legislation that legal advice privilege is referred only to the individuals within legal profession that the Supreme Court has no power to extend this umbrella. In the end, the court decided that extension of the legal advice privilege depends on the character of the advice provided rather then on the professional background of the person.
Sources of Environmental Law in UK
Sources of UK environmental law and its regulation
The UK environmental law is dependable on the international law and several conventions which have the principal role in the further development of the national legislation. According to this, there are main environmental regimes existing within the territory of the UK. They are the following:
Environmental permitting regime which regulated the prevention of the pollution and waste spread;
Waste out of scope of environmental permitting regime;
Conservation of nature and wildlife, etc.
Given the fact that UK belongs to the system of common law, the government of the country adopts the legislation having the impact over the England. In this respect the main state body performing the management functions in the sphere of protection of environment is the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
As environmental law represents the separate branch of law, there is the notion of environmental liability. Is arises under the provisions of such branches as criminal law, civil law, public law or company law.
Common law sources
Common system of law should be understood as the body of law that is based on the several customs, previous court judgements. This system of law disregard the usage of statutory law as the primary legislation. Therefore, the common law represents the result of the judicial power in creation the legal rules and norms. In this regard, the precedent is the key source of common law system. Precedent appears when the court delivers the opinion upon the case in written, while in future this precedent could be used by other judges in order to resolve the similar cases. To some extent, the common law system is much more beneficial to the society that continental one, as it allows the individuals to observe which norms are outdated and how the state bodies jointly with the courts can replace these norms.
The Aarhus Convention and its implementation in the UK
In 2011 the international community adopted the Aarhus convention which is titled as 1988 UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Phblic Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. This Convention should regulate the protection of the right of each individual to live in the proper and adequate environment suitable for the health. There are three main pillars of this Convention, such as the following: access to enviro natal information, public participation and justice with regard to the environmental issues. Besides, this international act had the important influence over the development of the U.K. Environmental law. The convention was implemented only by virtue of separate EU directives rather then by national legal acts adopted by the state bodies of the U.K. On the other hand, the great controversy appeared with regard to the implementation of the Art. 9 of the Convention as the reliance of the government over the judicial review as the instrument for the realization of the convention was not sufficient method. Due to the fact that UK is the member of the European Union, the implementation process is simplified in this state. In particular, some provisions of the Convention fall within the scope of the EU competence so that the leadership of the UK is deprived of the necessity to draft the appropriate legislation for the implementation of these provisions. Although, the UK has undertaken the obligation under EU law by virtue of the Environmental Information Regulations of 2004, Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on public access to environmental information and Council Directive 90/313/EEC.
With respect to Art. 9 of the Convention, the UK jointly with the Compliance Committee observing the implementation of he provisions of the act has agreed that in the UK there are such instruments as the appeal to Information Commissioner on the environmental issues, judicial review and other procedures under the Civil Procedure Rules.
The Environmental Information Regulation 2004
This document belongs to the sources of environmental law in the UK which stipulates the statutory right of access to the environmental information which is collects by the UK state bodies. This regulations were developed by the state authorities as the response to Aarhus Convention as the instrument of the implementation of its provisions. Therefore, the Environmental Information Regularion entitles with the opportunity to have the publisher access to the information by virtue of the public state authorities which should present the environmental information in the public manner and with the help of the members of the public which can submit the request on the receipt of the environmental information from the state authorities. Talking about the notion of public authorities, the regulation apply to the governmental departments, local authorities and several organization operating in the environmental sphere. Thus, the individuals have the right to have access to the information collected by the public authorities in case it related to them.
The Environment Protection Act 1990
The Environmental Protection Act of 1990 is the legislation act which was adopted by the government of the U.K. in order to exercise the control and management of the pollution spread and waste. Under this act, the authorities on all levels bear the responsibility to collect waste. Furthermore, all business entities are obliged to ensure that any waste produced by the company do no harm to the environment. In addition, under the provisions of this act, the Secretary of the State has the power to establish limits of the emissions on behalf of the company. Meanwhile, the accurate regime of recycling of the waste the forthcoming licensing of the emissions should take place within the territory of the state. The procedural framework for the imposing the punishment for the violation of the environmental legislation in terms of prohibited waste emission is provided as well (Sands and Galizzi).
Office of communication (respondent) v. The Information commissioner (Appellant) 52010 UKSC 3/ ECJ judgment 28 July 2011 (case C71/10)
This case is concerned about the Environmental Regulations and the European Directive 2003/4, Art. 4(2) which imposes the duty over the companies and other subjects to disclose all necessary environmental information if it does no fall within the scope of the exceptions. In this case, the state authority submitted the request to the company OFCOM on the disclosure of the information about the placement of the mobile telephone stations. Despite the fact that the company had the right not to disclose the information as it covered by the intellectual property right exception and public safety exception, the court decided that public interest for the disclosure prevails. Although at the end of the day the Tribunal has decided to refer to case to the European Court of Justice due to the existing provisions of the Council Directive 2003/4/EC. The Court was requested to examine the nature of the case and the exceptions identified as well as the Court should have to decide whether the information received by the state authorities could do the harm to the separate interests of the company in case of its disclosure.
R (on the application of Evans) and another (Respondents) v. Attorney General (Appellant)  UKSC 21 On appeal from  EWCA Civ 254
This case is concerned with the appeal brought by the journalist of the Guardian with the request to disclose the written communications between the Prince of Wales and Parliament. Although, this submission was rejected by the Court based on the regulation 18 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 in addition to the fact that request contradicts to the Council directive 2003/4/EC. Besides, the Attorney General has decided to pass through the decision of the Tribunal and disclose the requested information due to the Freedom Information Act of 2000. In his reasoning, the Attorney explained his action due to the reasonable grounds. Although, the court of appeal did not uphold the position of the Attorney General as there was no basis for applying the principle of the reasonable grounds stipulating the disclosure of the sensitive information requested by the journalists. Therefore, the Court of Appeal delivered the opinion that the Attorney General had no power to issue the certificate which prevents the execution of the judgment of the court.
The Guide to the Environmental Information Regulations Published by the Information commissioner’s office (ICO)
This guide was specifically designed and drafted by the state authorities of the UK in order to provide the recommendations and detailed information for the staff engaged in the cooperation with the public authority as well as bear the responsibility for the keeping or disclosure of the environmental information. Meanwhile, the Guide stipulates the process of application the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act of 1990 with practical examples and situations.
Mesothelioma Act 2014
This legal act is the part of the environmental legislation which allows the victims to request for the compensation in certain amount if they have no opportunity to submit the dispute over the persons guilty in the exposure. The applications for the compensations are accepted since 1st July of 2014. Only certain groups of people, if the individual has the diagnosis with mesothelioma found after 25th July of 2012 as well as the exposure to the asbestos was received during the term of employment of the person. The compensation covers the exposure individual and the family in general. In order to receive the satisfaction of the application the person should provide the suitable evidence. The higher sum of compensation amount to 123.000,00 of pounds.
Tort of negligence
The modern tort of negligence has its origin in the case Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932). In this case the court defined that the claimant bears the responsibility to proves the existence of the negligence claim. He should present the evidence that the defendant owed the duty of care as well as his actions were in breach of law. Besides, this illegal action in form of breach of law should cause damage which should not be remote. In this respect, the negligence should be understood as the form of tort appeared due to some losses or damages taking place between the parties. As they do not have contractual relations with each other, parties usually face problems with filing the suit before the court. Therefore, in 1932 upon the case Donoghue v. Stevenson, the court decided that any person is entitled with the right to sue another in case this person caused damage in absence of contractual relations.
The Unfair Contract terms act 1977
This legislative act provides the protection for the consumers against unfair terms. In addition, this legal instrument allows to avoid the breach of contract, any negligence and breach of duty. The act givers the consumer contracts, business relations, exclusions related to the tortious liability cases. Under the provisions of the act, one may apply the test of reasons less for the identification whether the terms of the contract are unfair, given the fact that some terms are initially regarded unfair. Usually this act is considered jointly with Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations of 1999.
Vaughan v. Menlove (1837) Ct CP
In this case the claimant filed the suit against defendant about the consequences caused by the haystack built by the claimant. Give the fact that these persons are neighbors and have no contractual relations, the test of reasonabless of the actions is applied. Therefore, the court agreed that the claimant is right in his arguments as the defendant despite the honest actions, should become the reasonable person and take precautions on the ventilation of the haystack in order to prevent the fire. Furthermore, the court evaluated that the standard of care is not based on the judgment of every individual. Despite the fact that the defendant in the case was informed about the dangerous consequences related to the candle in the hay jack. Therefore, the actions of the defendant are regarded as the gross negligence.
Donoghue v. Stenvenson H.L. 1932
This case represents the first successful attempt on behalf of the individuals to request the court to define the duty of care related to the tort of negligence. In this case the appellant filed the suit against Stevenson, the manufacturer of ginger beer. The dispute appears when Mrs. Donoghue went to the cafe with the friend to drink ginger beer. Her friend bought one for her, and at the end it contained a dead snail after what the appellant became ill. In fact Mrs. Donoghue has no right to sue the shopkeeper or the manufacturer in the direct way as she didn't buy the drink. In addition, her friend had no desire to file this suit instead of her. In this respect, the court found that everyone should take reasonable care in order to avoid the certain acts or omissions which one can predict or foresee if they can injure the neighbor.
Caparo v. Dickman 1990 (UKHL) 2
In this case the court established three-part test which assist in application the principle of duty of care for the different situations. Therefore, there are three conditions which should be satisfied for the identification the duty of care:
One should reasonably foresee that the person would be injured;
The sufficient proximity between the parties exists;
The imposition of the liability over the defendant is fair, just and reasonable.
There are several cases that give interpretation to the first part of the test: Kent v. Griffiths (2000), Jolly v. Dutton London Borough Council (2000), Bourhill v. Young. As to the second pillar of the test, the duty of care can only exist in case the parties are close enough wth each other. In this respect one can take case Osman v. Ferguson (1993) for the interpretation of the notion of closeness. The imposition of the responsibility over the defendant is the issue of the public policy so that the public authorities are responsible for the consideration of this issue.
Sea Shepherd UK (Appellant) v. Fish & Fish Limited (Respondent)  UKSC 10
In this case the Respondent filed the suit against the Appellant on the tort against the Appellant due to the damages cause to the fish farm. In fact, the Appellant was involved in the accident because of two factors: financing of the operation taking place on 17th June 2010 and by recruiting two volunteers at the ship. The court had to define the liability of the Appellant directly or not. Despite the fact that the court of forts k stance declined the submission of the Respondent, the Supreme Court considered tha appeal. The court found the Appellant liable in the damage caused due to the fact that he assisted to the performance did the tort and the act of that person had the tortious nature. Moreover, the court decided that appellant's assistance in this case should be substantial rather than minimal so that the contribution of the person to the tort should be investigated by the court herein. Therefore, the judges of the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the fundraising assistance on behalf of the Appellant can not be defined as minimal and insignificant so that he is liable for the damage caused.
Fairchild v. Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd  UKHL 22
This case examines the issue of compensation of the employees for the occupational injury. The question before the Court was whether the employee is entitled with the right to recover in case he is able to prove the act of negligence over the inflicted injury. Besides, due to the fact that this employee is engaged into work for the two different business entities and employers, he can not state exactly which one is responsible for the causation for the injury. In this case, the claimants were exposed to asbestos upon the work for the different employers. Although, they have no opportunity to prove the origin of the exposure and provide the medical evidence due to impossibility to detect. Therefore, the Court stated that if the claimant is able to present that employer referred to the actions that increase the risk of employees’ contact with mesothelioma, these persons have the right to sue for the full compensation package to be made on behalf of this employer. Furthermore, the Court considered if the defendants have the fair and equal right for the compensation sum upon the caused injury. The Court satisfied the appel and concluded that application of ‘but for’ test is needed. Although, the judges concluded that neither party can be regarded liable as the employees can not present the evidence of the caused outcome.
Barker v. Corus (UK) plc  UKHL 20
According to the facts of this case, the employee Barker was exposed to asbestos due to his employment for some employers and additional self-employment. He defined the mesothelioma and files the claim for the compensation. Given the fact that the first instance declined the suit, the Appellant referred to the House of Lords for the consideration of the case. The issue before the Court is whether the plaintiff should be one of the parties that have done the contribution to the injury. Upon the consideration of the merits of the case, the judges ordered that it does not matter that the plaintiff represents one of the parties which actions led to the causation of the injury as the responsibility of the other parties completely depends on their actions. Thus, the damages caused should be separated accordingly in the proper and fair manner based on the actions of each respondent. Although, the dissenting opinion reserved the position that the division of the damages has the negative effect over the resolution of the case due to the fact that the plaintiff could receive the smallest part of the compensation.
Sienkiewicz (Administratrix of the Estate of Enid Costello Deceased) (Respondent) v. Grief (UK) Limited (appellant) Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (Appellant) v. Willmore (Respondent) [2011) UKSC 10
This case involves the issue of consideration the test for the determination of causation link in case the person dies due to the mesothelioma which have been received during the occupation. The Appellant files the suit on behalf of the mother which died with the diagnosis of mesothelioma and was exposed to asbestos during the employment in the factory. The first court considered the case defined that the mother of the appellant received the low level of asbestos during her working hours. Although, the suit was rejected as the Appellant was not able to prove the causation link. The Court of Appeal accepted the suit and stated that it is sufficient to present the evidence that the tortious exposure of asbestos in material dimension leads to the increase of the risk of appearance of mesothelioma. If the premises where the person performs the functions for the employer are characterized with the environment under the risk of exposure to asbestos, then the Appellant should not present the supplementary evidences. Furthermore, the Court considered the provisions of Section 3 of the Compensation Act of 2006 and defined that the principle under this legal act are not applicable in this case as the tortious exposure to asbestos is evident and causation link should not be proved on behalf of the Appellant.
Zurich Insurance PLC UK Branch (Appellant) v. International Energy Group Limited (Respondent)  UKSC 33 On appeal from  EWCA Civ 39
This case concerns the special test applicable to liability and causation link for the submissions of the victims exposed to the mesothelioma. The appeal has the origin in Guernsey where the Compensation Act of 2006 is not applicable. The Court should have to consider if the conclusion of Barker case is applicable to Guernsey and the liability of the employer cover the insurance and compensation package for the persons exposed to asbestos. The Supreme Court in this case ordered that Barker case ruling is applicable to Guernsey so that the rule of proportionate and adequate compensation should be calculated and applied. Thus, the Court stated that Zurich is responsible to meet IEG’s claim and satisfy the compensation package claimed.
Given the fact that the respondent was sued by the employer for the constant negligence and exposure to asbestos dust that led to the mesothelioma due to which the person died. In this respect, the Court of Appeal concluded that the appellant is obliged to pay the compensation and related expenses with the defense before the Court.
The Compensation Act 2006
This legal act was adopted by the parliament in order to establish the compensation schemes for the claims related to the occupational issues. The most important provisions are the Section 3 rules and norms. This Section provides the reservation provisions on the distribution of the damages within the mesothelioma claims raised from illegal exposure to asbestos. Thus, the Section 3 stated that the defendant should be liable for the divisions of the damages accordingly to the exposure for which this person is responsible. In this regard, the claimant has the right to receive the compensation for all amount of the damages if the court could examine all the circumstances of the case. Therefore, the Compensation Act 2006 changed the approach of the House of Lords that the parties to the case are liable jointly for the damages.
Furthermore, the Compensation Act provisions regulate the management schemes of the division of the claims. This legal instrument creates the Claims Management Services Regulator to govern the claims. In addition, the Act establishes the standards of competence and professional conduct, identifies the promotion of the good practice and facilitates the competition.
Ryland and Fletchers 1868
In this case, the defendant is the owner of the mill on which land the reservoir was constructed over the mine which is not used in the proper manner. Besides, the respondents in the case are responsible for the damages caused for the usage of the land not in the right manner. The applicants requested the accumulation over the land of the respondent. The court of first instance states that the defendants ignored the the mine shaft so that the court favored the defendants’ side. Thus, in brief, the highest instance as the House of Lords ordered that if the person allows the situation of any dangerous element on the territory of the land, then the owner is responsible for the damages caused by this element. Therefore, the prove of negligence is not necessary on behalf of the landowner.
Lambert and Baratt Homes Ltd (Manchester Division) (2009) EWHC 744 (QB)
This case evidences the existence of the risk in front of the developers and certain landowners which can appear after the flooding of the near properties as the result of the development. In this case the judges upheld the approach of holding the parties to the dispute responsible for the damages if any actions have been made by them within the territory of the land. The appellant in the case submitted the request that the local authority is responsible for the situation when water had its origin in the higher land which was under the ownership of the local authority. Therefore, the claimant considered that the local authority is responsible for the damage due to the fact that the state body should have aware of this situation.
Having considered the merits of the case, the Court found that the developer’s actions led to the flooding due to the obstruction of the drainage ditch. Moreover, the local authority also was liable for the damages caused for the property situated within the neighborhood land. In this respect, the judges ordered for the landowners to refer to certain measures that will assist in the alleviation of the flood. Besides, the court considered that the landowners and the local authority have the sufficient financial statements for the performance of this duty over the recovery of the property.
The Manchester Ship canal Cy lits and ors. V. United Utilities Water Plc (2014) UKSC 40
The issue in the case surrounded the Water Industry Act of 1991. The Court should have defined whether the sewerage undertaker is entitled with the statutory right to disregard the surface water and interfered into the private watercourses in form of defendants’ canals without the agreement of the owners. Considering the merits of the case, the Court approved the appeal and agreed that the claimants have the right to disregard the respondent’s canals from the outfall which have been in use before the 1st December of 1991. The court examined the notion of discharge and states that it represents the entry into the territory of the owner’s land. In addition, the Water Industry Act has no provision over the statutory right. The Court considered that only two exceptions exist with respect to the right of discharge into the private watercourses.
Dobson v. Thames water Utilities (2011) EWHC 3252 TCC
According to the merits of the case, the claimants filed the submission about the existence of the odours and mosquitoes which affect the activities of the defendants due to their adjustment to the Sewage Treatment Plant. The Court was requested to consider if the holders without the pertaining to them title are responsible for the damages and related injuries.
In the beginning of the consideration, the damages caused are related to the injuries to the property. Given the fact that the claimants filed the submission under the Article 8 of the ECHR, the court proceeded with the examination if the Thames Water is the body which has the authorization under the Water Industry Act of 1991. The Thames Water had the right to supply water and sewerage services so that the court upheld the claims made while the breach of law under the Article 8 exist.
The court established that the appellants’ rights according to the European Convention on Human Rights were violated. In the end of the day, the court decided that the damages should be compensated for the nuisance with regard to the legal occupiers of the territories under the influence of the odour and mosquitos so that no reasoning was found with respect to the necessity to compensate the damages for the children having the residency in these houses.
Pollution and criminal law
The Directive 2008/99
This document regulates the protection of the environment through the criminal law. According to the provisions of this directive, environmental crime covers the all acts which are made in the violation of the environmental legislation leading to the significant damages to the human health and surrounding environment. These violations and criminal acts could be in form of the illegal emissions into the air, water. Moreover, the criminal acts can be exercised in such spheres as illegal trade of shipment, dumping.
The provisions of the Directive cover the list of all environmental violations and offences that fall within the scope of criminal acts under the legislation of all the members of European Union. These offences could be made by the person with the intent or with some kind of negligence. These list of the offences is illustrative and exclusive. Moreover, according to the text of the Directive, the members states of EU bear the responsibility to guarantee that the individuals will be subject to the offences and the fair and equal sanctions will be applied. Besides, the Directive includes only the minimal standard of the environmental protection while the supplementary sanctions and punishment schemes should be stipulated by the internal legislation of the Member states.
R. v. Anglian Water Services Ltd (2003) EWCA Crim 2243
According to the judgment in the case, the appellant is found guilty under the provisions of the Water Resources Act of 1991 due to the discharge of the sewage into the river. The Court ordered to award the damages in sum of 200.000,00 pounds. Upon consideration of the merits of the case, the judge found that quantity of the sewage was significant and had the detrimental effect over the wildlife. Furthermore, the cooperation between AWS and the Environment Agency was taken into account. Meanwhile, the consequences of the sewage and the forthcoming pollution was evaluated as well as the it polluted approximately 2 kilometres of the river and caused the damage to the wildlife.
R. v. Thames Water Utilities Ltd (2010) EWCA Crim. 202
In this case, the Appellant filed the submission with request to compensate the significant sum of money as 125.000,00 pounds upon the pollution cause due to the entrance to the controlled water. Such activity contradicts to the provisions of the Water Resources Act of 1991 as the vast amount of the bleach spoiled into the river causing the damage to the fish storages and related wildlife. In fact, that Thames Water agreed that the company is responsible for the damage so that they agree to compensate the damage in full by awarding the compensation. In addition, the Court decided that it is necessary to support the ruling that such companies as the Thames Water should bear the additional burden of responsibility as it is the direct duty of such companies to observe that the pollution is not made. In this respect, the Court defined the test which allows to assess the seriousness of the offence. These factors are the following:
Consideration of the means as well as to examine the amount of notional fine;
Assess the compensation order;
Evaluate the extent to which the respondent has the experience from the incident occurred;
Identify the mitigation issues and the related consequences;
Use the appropriate percentage discounts of the guilty.
Importance of the case law in the common law system and further understanding of environmental law
Importance and significance of the case law within the common law system which exists in the UK is high due to the fact the the judgments of the courts and precedents represent the main sources of law. When certain offence or violation of the contemporary legislation appears, the court during the consideration of the dispute, refers to the previous case law in order to provide the parties with proper interpretation of the current provisions of the law. Without case law in such branch of law as the environmental law in the UK, the factor of predictability of the judgment and stability of the law system will not be possible.
Sands, Philippe, and Paolo Galizzi. Documents In International Environmental Law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Print.