News and Events

Centre for Law & the Environment Researchers Participate at EELF Annual Conference 2021

10 Sep 2021

Rhoda Jennings and Alison Hardiman (PhD Candidates at the School of Law) and Professor Áine Ryall participated at the 8th European Environmental Law Forum (EELF) Annual Conference hosted online by Bournemouth University from 8-10 September 2021.

The conference theme was Social and Scientific Uncertainties in Environmental Law.

Rhoda Jennings presented on ‘Scientific Uncertainty for Legislative Action: The Science of the Precautionary Principle in the European Union’.  Her paper explored the precautionary principle, a legal rule used to transform scientific uncertainty into data that can be used in policy making and legislation.  It analysed how the science of the principle has been interpreted by the European Courts in environmental law cases.  Rhoda’s PhD research is supervised by Professor Owen McIntyre and Professor Mark Poustie and is funded by an Irish Research Council / EPA postgraduate scholarship. 

Alison Hardiman addressed ‘The Role of Public Participation in the Project Authorisation Process for Renewable Energy Infrastructure’.  She argues that in order to develop the infrastructure needed to achieve mandatory climate action targets, more defined policy guidelines are required within the project authorisation process. Particular focus is afforded to the need for specific provisions regarding pre-planning public consultation between developers and host communities designed with the aim of achieving better projects in accordance with the objectives underpinning the Aarhus Convention.  Alison’s PhD research is sponsored by EirGrid and her supervisors are Professor Owen McIntyre and Professor Mark Poustie.

Áine Ryall’s contribution focussed on ‘Interrogating Judicial Review of Environmental Decision-making in Ireland’.  Her presentation highlighted the sharp tension between the deferential standard of judicial review applied by the Irish courts (the O’Keeffe principles) and the obligation under EU law to provide effective judicial protection and effective remedies in the field of environmental law.  The standard of review has proven to be highly resistant to the influence of EU law to date.  She argues for a more intensive standard of review, particularly in the case of Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive. 

Áine Ryall was also invited to participate in an expert Roundtable Discussion on the theme ‘Scientific Uncertainties in the Habitats Directive Regime before National Courts’ during the conference. 

Conference website: European Environmental Law Forum Annual Conference 2021 | Bournemouth University

Centre for Law and the Environment

Room 1.63, T12 T656