Key Cases

Key cases include:

Friends of the Irish Environment v Government of Ireland [2020] IEHC 225
Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive – National Planning Framework and National Development Plan – Standard of environmental assessment of strategic options – Monitoring obligations – whether NDP was a budgetary plan – Climate Change – Appropriate Assessment (High Court)

Friends of the Irish Environment v Legal Aid Board [2020] IEHC 347, [2020] IEHC 454
Whether a company can apply for Civil Legal Aid – Application of the Interpretation Act – Effect of Charter of Fundamental Rights on interpretation – Effect of Aarhus Convention on Interpretation (High Court, High Court)

Protect East Meath Ltd v An Bord Pleanála and others [2020] IEHC 294
Strategic Housing Development – Habitats Directive – Consenting Authority concedes decision invalid – incomplete bird surveys – Whether Notice Party can continue to contest the application (High Court)

Friends of the Irish Environment v Minister for Communications Climate Action and the Environment, Ireland and the AG [2020] IEHC 159, [2020] IEHC 383
Projects of Common Interest – Shannon LNG Terminal and connecting pipeline – Validity of EU delegated act – Preliminary Reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union – Urgency of Proceedings – Strategic Infrastructure (High Court High Court)

Jim Redmond & Mary Redmond -v- Commissioner for Environmental Information & Coillte Teoranta [2020] IECA 83
Access to environmental information – whether sale of forestry by Coillte was a measure affecting or likely to affect the environment – whether details of the sale is information on the measure – purposive interpretation – obligations on Commissioner for Environmental Information to conduct inquisitorial procedure (Court of Appeal)

Courts Service v Data Protection Commissioner and PM (Circuit Court)
Data Protection – Statutory Appeal – Whether Courts Service or Judiciary were data controllers in repsect of publication of judgments on the Courts webiste – Breach of sections 2A and 2B(1) of the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 – publication of name of a litigant whose identity protected by court order. (Circuit Court judgment 3 February 2020)

Friends of the Irish Environment CLG v An Bord Pleanála and Shannon LNG [2019] IEHC 80, C-254/19
Planning and development – strategic infrastructure – liquefied natural gas terminal – extension of duration of planning permission – Habitats Directive – whether mere temporal change requires appropriate assessment – preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union. (High Court, AG Opinion, CJEU Judgment)

Irish Raptor Study Group and Ireland PRE/ACCC/C/2019/164
Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee – Contravention of Aarhus Convention – Environmental Impact Assessment – publication of location of breeding sites of rare species during public participation (UNECE)

Pepper Finance Corporation (Ireland) DAC v Brian and Christina Cannon [2019] IESCDET 5, [2020] IESC 2
Circuit Appeal – mortgage repossession – Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Directive – whether there is an appeal directly to the Supreme Court – the criteria to be taken into account when deciding to extend time to appeal where there is an arguable case but no bona fide intention to appeal and mistake as to time (Supreme Court Determination, Supreme Court Judgment)

Right to Know v An Taoiseach and anor [2018] IEHC 372
Access to environmental information – access to cabinet discussions of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions -whether constitutional protection of cabinet discussions is subject to public interest balancing test (High Court)

Michael Grange v Information Commissioner and anor [2018] IEHC 108.
FOI – whether request was frivolous or vexatious – election observer rosters (High Court)

Friends of the Irish Environment v Fingal Co Co and others [2017] IEHC 695
Challenge to extension of planning permission for new runway at Dublin Airport – EIA and Habitats Directives – Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 – Identification of an unenumerated constitutional right to a healthy environment (High Court)

Stephen Minch v Commissioner for Environmental Information and anor [2016] IEHC 91, [2017] IECA 223.
Access to environmental information – definition of environmental information – National Broadband Plan (High Court, Court of Appeal)

Minister for Communications v Information Commissioner and others [2017] IEHC 222, [2019] IECA 68, [2019] IESCDET 179, [2020] IESC 57
FOI – Commercially sensitive information – confidentiality between public body and service provider – Information Commissioner’s margin of discretion in determining the public interest balance – Concession contract for operation of state-owned telecommunications infrastructure (High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court Determination, Supreme Court Judgment)

Right to Know and Ireland ACCC/C/2016/141
Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee – Contravention of Aarhus Convention – delays in administrative review by Commissioner for Environmental Information (UNECE)