News and Events
Áine Ryall addresses Irish Environmental Law Association
On 10 April 2018, Áine Ryall presented a paper to members of the Irish Environmental Law Association at Trinity College, Dublin. The paper examined ‘Review of Compliance under the Aarhus Convention’.
It was delivered to a ‘full house’, confirming the very high level of interest in the Convention and its impact on Irish environmental law, policy and practice.
The Aarhus Convention is a multilateral environmental treaty, signed in 1998, which links environmental rights and human rights. This year is the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention. The Compliance Committee, which sits at the Palais des Nations, the United Nations Office in Geneva, oversees how 47 State Parties (including the European Union and its Member States), implement their obligations under the Convention as a matter of international law. Áine Ryall has served as a member of the Compliance Committee since 2015 and was elected Vice-Chair in December 2017.
Áine Ryall’s paper considered the specific mandate and modus operandi of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, including, in particular how members of the public, including NGOs, may make ‘communications’ to the committee alleging breach of Convention obligations by State Parties and what happens following a finding of non-compliance. The paper also explored the impact of the Compliance Committee’s work in practice, including the evolution of environmental human rights in areas falling within the scope of the Aarhus Convention.