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Environmental Law

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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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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Failure to meet environmental targets cost EU €55bn last year

The European Union’s economy lost £54.7bn last year due to member states’ failures to implement environmental laws, according to a European Commission report. The report explored the impact on seven policy areas, air and noise, nature and biodiversity, water, waste, chemicals, industrial emissions and major accident hazards, and horizontal instruments. It revealed that clean air legislation has p...
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Ever Evolving Planning & Environmental Law Landscape in Ireland – Mason Hayes & Curran Report

Launching judicial reviews for strategic infrastructure developments The Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended provides for a special planning application process for strategic infrastructure development (SID). This procedure allows for the local planning authority to be bypassed entirely and the application be made directly to An Bord Pleanála, the Irish State planning appeals board. SI...
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Global Working group to address possible gaps in international environmental law – UNGA

Governments will gather in early September to discuss options for a working group on possible gaps in international environmental law. The co-chairs of the working group, Francisco António Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative of Portugal, and Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative of Lebanon, have circulated the programme of work for a three-day organizational session in September 2018, as wel...
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