High Court allows BASC to join General Licence review

Following a legal challenge by BASC, the High Court has overturned an earlier decision to deny the association ‘interested party’ status in the judicial review on the future of the Welsh general licences.

BASC challenged a ruling in August which denied the UK’s largest shooting organisation the right to join Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in directly fighting the legal challenge brought by the Wild Justice group.

In today’s legal challenge, BASC argued that the shooting community needed direct representation so that the court could fully understand the potential impact of Wild Justice’s claim on conservation and those in the shooting community who manage pest species.

BASC is now gathering written evidence showing why NRW has acted legally in issuing their general licences. No date has been set for the substantive hearing.

Steve Griffiths, BASC’s Wales director, said: “This is a vital victory to give BASC a seat at the table throughout this judicial review. Any decision on the future of general licences requires shootings’ voice, and we are delighted with the decision. It is cases such as this which underline the importance of the Fighting Fund in giving us the clout to fund legal challenges wherever they appear.

“Work on our written statement has already begun and we are working closely with Defra and NRW to ensure a future proof and fit for purpose set of licences.”