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Establishment of a Specialised Planning and Environmental Court Proposed

The Programme for Government agreed between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party includes provision for the establishment of a dedicated Planning and Environmental Law List as a separate division of the High Court. This was a manifesto commitment of the Green Party and its inclusion in the Programme for Government represents a very significant potential development in relation to Irish plann...
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European environmental law and policy: What’s in store for 2020?

The start of a New Year is a good time to take stock as to what we can expect in European environmental law and policy over the next 12 months. Unlike previous years, 2020 is already shaping up to be a momentous year at both a European and member state level particularly as regards climate change. We have to go back some way to remember a time when there was so much political focus on environment...
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Environmental Law Enforcement: Emerging Challenges 2019

The Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Laura Burke and the Chief Justice of Ireland, the Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, provided the opening addresses at an environmental law conference on Monday, 25th November in Dublin.  The purpose of the conference was to explore the role of law and its enforcement in shaping our approach to environmental protection. Commenting on th...
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Environmental protection regulations in European Union

Environmental protection As discussed above, over the years, the European Union has developed a complex regime of environmental protection legislation on air and water quality, chemicals, and solid and hazardous waste, which is law in EU Member States. Other initiatives of the European Union (e.g., concerning single-use plastics) are only at an early stage at present. Air quality Directive 2008...
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UK government tables ‘groundbreaking’ Environment Bill

The UK government last week formally tabled its long-awaited Environment Bill in Parliament, promising that the "landmark" legislation will reshape environmental regulation and enforcement in the UK post-Brexit. Currently, most of the UK's environmental rules are enforced by Brussels, but last week's legislation would see the creation of a new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) establ...
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Potential Implications of Brexit on Environmental Law

Brexit has the potential to impinge on the efficacy of environmental law in protecting the Irish environment. As has been stated by many commentators, the same homogenous and inseparable eco-system will continue no matter what political borders exist on the island post Brexit. Therefore any disturbance to the effectiveness of environmental or planning law by Brexit could have a significant impact ...
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Good governance and public participation crucial to deliver environmental laws

A new report from the European Environmental Bureau highlights shortcomings in how EU countries enable public participation in environmental decision-making. Meanwhile, LIFE is investing in better governance and capacity-building.  The report, entitled ‘Power to the people’, was released at the end of April 2019 by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) as part of the project Implement for LIFE....
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Environment policy: A major EU achievement

Environmental policy is one of the EU’s major achievements, but we can’t stop now; change can and should happen more locally, says Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions. With citizens demanding more climate action - an issue that will sway many voters in the forthcoming European elections - improving the impact of environmental law will show the real added valu...
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Special costs rules governing environmental litigation under Planning & Development Act

Executive summary Heather Hill Management Company CLG and Gabriel McGoldrick (the Applicants) challenged a decision of An Bord Pleanala (the Board) to grant permission for a strategic housing development. The Applicants challenged that decision on a number of grounds and argued that the entire proceedings attracted the special costs rules governing environmental litigation under Section 50B of ...
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The changing face of environmental regulation: a challenge for multi-national business

Environmental regulation is changing at an exponential rate. Around the world there has been a significant strengthening of regulation, consisting not only of tighter new rules but also more rigorous, consistent enforcement. For multi-national organisations the consequences of not being prepared locally and the impact of an environmental incident can be severe. Global law firm Clyde & Co pr...
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