2015 Press Releases

UNECE Compliance Committee role for Áine Ryall

21 Oct 2015
Palais des Nations (The Palace of Nations) in Geneva (Photo by Aine Ryall)

Dr Áine Ryall of UCC's School of Law has taken up duty as a member of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, an international treaty that links environmental rights and human rights. 

Dr Ryall teaches and researches planning and environmental law at the School of Law, UCC. She is a qualified barrister specialising in international and EU environmental law, in particular environmental impact assessment, access to justice, environmental law enforcement and implementation of the Aarhus Convention. She was also recently appointed Vice-Chair of the An Bord Pleanála Review Group.

Located at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention) was adopted in 1998.

The treaty guarantees three closely connected rights governing information, participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. This trio of rights underpins the right of every person of present and future generations to live in an environment adequate for their health and well-being.  

The Compliance Committee, which has been in place since October 2002, oversees how State Parties implement their obligations under the Convention. It operates on a “non-confrontational, non-judicial and consultative” basis and its primary objective is to assist the Parties to comply with their Convention obligations. The Committee reports to the Meeting of the Parties, which may, following consideration of the Committee’s findings and recommendations, decide on appropriate measures to bring about full compliance, including by providing advice and assistance to the Party concerned and / or making specific recommendations.   

The Compliance Committee has nine members who serve in a personal capacity and do not represent the countries of which they are nationals.

(Image of Dr Aine Ryall by Tomas Tyner, UCC)

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