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 the conference, EPA’s Director General, Laura Burke, said: “The enforcement of environmental law is fundamental to the protection of our environment and our enforcement strategies are influenced by how that law is interpreted in the courts. The importance of this conference is that it brings together practising legal professionals, leading academics and researchers, policy makers, concerned stakeholders as well as professional regulators to explore emerging enforcement challenges in relation to the protection of nature, climate-change and waste management.”
The conference explored emerging case law in relation to protecting the natural environment including the case for tougher penalties for wildlife crime. Delegates will hear about the role of law in delivering on the Paris Climate Goals and in avoiding climate breakdown. In addition, there will be an examination of the current legal and regulatory framework for waste management as well as current waste law enforcement and policy.
The conference is being co-hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL).
Dr Áine Ryall, ICEL said: “Effective implementation of environmental law takes on even greater significance in the contemporary context of climate breakdown and the biodiversity crisis. This conference provides an important forum for engagement and informed debate on environmental law enforcement, including the impact of European Union law on Irish environmental law and policy.”
A unique feature of the conference was a session on emerging issues in environmental law research in Ireland, where three PhD candidates presented their cutting-edge work.
Source – Environmental Protection Agency