Inquiry – Chances of winning are high

7 December 2001

Inquiry – ‘Chances of winning are high’

By FWi staff

CHANCES of winning legal action to force a public inquriy into the foot-and-mouth crisis are more than 60%, says legal expert.

“We believe we can show the government was wrong not to respond to requests to hold a public inquiry into its handling of the foot-and-mouth crisis,” said Tim Russ, head of the agricultural law team at west-country firm Clarke Willmott Clarke.

A chance to persuade a judge to order the government to hold a public inquiry will come next February during a judicial review of the governments decision at Londons High Court.

Two other legal teams, Gabb and Co of Wales and Bristol-based Burges Salmon, are gathering evidence with Clarke Willmott Clarke on behalf of claimants who suffered hardship due to the crisis.

After hearing evidence supporting pleas for a public inquiry and the opposing view from a Defra law team, the judge will decide whether to order ministers to open a public inquiry.

A Defra spokeswoman said the department would defend the governments decision to hold two independent inquiries and a policy commission in the aftermath of foot-and-mouth.

FARMERS WEEKLY has pledged to support part of the costs of the legal action in association with Western Morning News and The Western Mail.

Upcoming webinar

What does the future of farming look like post Covid-19 and Brexit?

Register now
See more