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Conference on Environmental Law Enforcement – Emerging Challenges 2020

The Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Laura Burke; and the Chief Justice, the Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, will provide the opening addresses at this year’s virtual conference on Environmental Law Enforcement: Emerging Challenges 2020 which will take place on Wednesday on November 11th 2020, with the event timed for 9.00am until 1.15pm.

Note: Advance registration for this event is essential.
To view the full conference programme, please use the link shown HERE.
To register for this event, please use the link shown HERE.

The conference, which is co-hosted by the EPA and the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL), will explore some of the challenges and potential opportunities that are emerging through experience with environmental enforcement; recent developments in the case law; as well as new policy initiatives.

Commenting on the conference, Ms Laura Burke (EPA Director General), stated: “This conference is an important opportunity for practicing legal professionals, leading academics and researchers, policy makers, concerned stakeholders as well as professional regulators to come together to explore emerging challenges in Ireland with regard to enforcement of environmental law. It also has an important role in supporting the development of competency and capacity in environmental law and its enforcement.”

The conference will explore experience, challenges and recent case law in relation to the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive; the Environmental Liability Directive and the Habitats Directive; as well as the implications of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in ‘Climate Case Ireland’ for climate and wider environmental protection.

There will also be contributions providing different perspectives and experience in the context of establishing a specialist court for planning and the environment.

Dr Áine Ryall, (ICEL and Centre for Law and the Environment UCC) stated: “The conference is very timely. The Programme for Government includes a commitment to establish a Planning and Environmental Law Court managed by specialist judges. There is also a commitment to reform the judicial review process. These proposals raise important issues concerning the right of access to justice and merit close attention. Furthermore, the pandemic has created challenges for the exercise of rights guaranteed under the Aarhus Convention, in particular the right to participate in environmental decision-making.
The conference provides a forum for informed debate. It will explore how to use the law to protect the environment and improve environmental quality.”

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