Welcome to the Justice Beat, CrowdJustice’s weekly roundup of the most important legal stories from around the web. This week we focus on the environment, costs, and il(legal) behaviour
1. The UK government has lost a third court case for failing to produce an adequate plan to tackle air pollution, reports the Guardian. The High Court ruled that the government's current policy of tackling pollution in 45 local authority areas was "not sufficient". Scientists believe that as many as 40,000 people a year are dying from dirty air across the country.
2. Two barristers from 20 Essex St have written in the Guardian that a new advisory opinion from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that recognises the right to a healthy environment as fundamental to the existence of humanity may also unlock cross-border remedies for the victims of environmental degradation.
JR costs ruling
3. In an important decision that considers the implications of crowdfunding – and the personal means of the claimants – on whether to grant a costs cap in a judicial review, yesterday the High Court determined that a public-spirited case should not expose the responsible, professional claimants to open-ended costs exposure. A CrowdJustice note summarises the result.
4. A former Skadden associate with a "gilt-edged" London lifestyle has admitted to lying to investigators about his communications with former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates. Alex van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old Dutch citizen and son of a Ukrainian-Russian billionaire, faces up to five years in prison, according to the New York Times, after pleading guilty to lying to investigators and deleting emails in relation to a report prepared by Skadden and used to defend the then-president of Ukraine.
5. A former US judge has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for dismissing minor criminal cases in exchange for nude photographs or sexual favors from male defendants, reports Courthouse News. The 72-year-old pleaded guilty to a 7-year scheme that, in addition to being a gross abuse of power, defrauded the city of fines or fees they should have gathered from those whose cases were fraudulently dismissed.
This week on CrowdJustice, charity Bail for Immigration Detainees seeks to designate G4S a "high risk" strategic supplier, an activist seeks to cap the number of strip clubs in Sheffield, a man challenges a dentist surgery for HIV discrimination, and families seek to enforce the findings of the Chilcot inquiry.