News and Events

School of Law at Dublin Conference on Environmental Law Enforcement

4 Dec 2019
Dr Tom Ryan (EPA); Dr Áine Ryall; the Hon Ms Justice Mary Laffoy; the Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice; Laura Burke (Director General, EPA); Dr John Temple Lang

Members of the School of Law contributed to the recent conference organised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL) on the theme Environmental Law Enforcement: Emerging Challenges 2019 held in Dublin on 25 November 2019.

The conference was convened by Dr Áine Ryall (UCC and ICEL) and Dr Tom Ryan (EPA).

The purpose of the conference, which attracted a capacity audience, was to explore the role of law and its enforcement in shaping our approach to environmental protection. 

Professor Mark Poustie, Dean of Law UCC, presented a paper on the theme Tougher Penalties for Wildlife Crime: Experience from Scotland. 

Dr Áine Ryall spoke on the significance of the principle of effectiveness of EU law in the context of environmental protection and environmental law enforcement more generally. She took the opportunity to sound a note of caution concerning the Government’s current proposals to restrict the right to bring judicial review proceedings to challenge planning decisions. EU law and international environmental law creates important obligations on Member States in the context of access to justice in environmental matters. While the Government enjoys a measure of discretion in setting the rules governing access to justice review, EU law and international law demands ‘wide access to justice’ in environmental matters. There are therefore clear legal constraints on the Government’s freedom to act in this particular context.

Following an independent, competitive selection process, two PhD candidates based at the School of Law were among the early career researchers selected to present their work at the conference.    

Laurie O’Keeffe, PhD candidate, School of Law UCC, presented her work on A Critical Analysis of Enforcement of Sea-Fisheries Law in Ireland.

Sarah Enright, PhD candidate, School of Law and Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI), presented her work on Effective Marine Governance: The Evolving Role of Marine Protected Areas as a Legal Tool for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity.

Further information

Link to EPA Press Release,67266,en.html

Link to Irish Centre for European Law

School of Law

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