Planning and Environment List Consultation

Planning and Environment List Consultation

Second Round Consultation Planning and Environment Court Procedures

The Planning and Environment Court List Judge, on June 6, published a revised version of the consultation paper for revised procedures governing the operation of the Court’s business. Please note that the deadline for responses to the revised draft has been extended to 17:00hrs on 17 of June 2024.

The attention of list stakeholders and the public concerned is drawn to the attached draft text for a Practice Direction incorporating the substance of the list previously published. 

Please send any responses to Ms. McKimm at kathrynmckimm@courts.ie
and to environment@courts.ie.

High Court Practice Direction HC124

High Court Practice Direction HC124

High Court Practice Direction 124 signed by the President of the High Court David Barniville on the 5 of December 2023 gave effect to the creation of the Planning & Environment List. The ceremonial launch of the Planning and Environment List took place on the 11 of December 2023 and High Court Practice Direction 119 was revoked as of that date.

Purpose of the Planning and Environment List

Purpose of the Planning and Environment List

The purpose of the List is to provide as efficient a processing as is consistent with justice of such planning and environmental cases, and related cases as specified above, as are assigned or admitted to the Planning and Environment List.
 
The specific goals of the List include:
 
  1. to provide a specialised mechanism to process cases across a comprehensive definition of the planning and environment field, broadly defined, compliant with the Aarhus Convention, the EU law right to an effective remedy and other applicable domestic, European and international standards;
  2. to provide effective and paperless access to justice for cases within the List and to provide their efficient, fair and equitable disposition;
  3. to the extent requested by any party, to provide such certainty as can be achieved as to costs rules prior to the incurring of inter partes costs in the proceedings;
  4. to maximise use of resources and minimise costs through case management, in order to minimise the need for or incidence of multiple interlocutory or interim applications and adjourned substantive hearings, and to take any other steps so that matters proceed expeditiously to hearing and, when at hearing, are expeditiously determined;
  5. so far as resources permit, to provide hearing dates to all cases eligible for a List to Fix Dates (LFD) for a particular term, within the term to which the LFD relates;
  6. to promote the general objective, through modularisation or otherwise, that issues as to the validity of laws or measures of general application are normally dealt with only if other domestic or EU law points are not determinative; and
  7. to balance the demands on the judges assigned to the List so that the court can deliver judgments in a timely manner, and, insofar as possible, within a 2 month period during term from the date on which judgment is reserved.

Scope of the List

Scope of the List

The List encompasses the following categories of cases;

  1. proceedings related to decisions or other acts and omissions involving any of the following EU legislation or any legislation amending or replacing them (or any EU legislation which was replaced by the following), including proceedings related to the adequacy of transposition of such EU legislation:

    1. the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, 91/271/EEC

    2. the Nitrates Directive, 91/676/EEC;

    3. the Habitats Directive, 92/43/EEC;

    4. the Aarhus Convention 1998 as an element of EU law;

    5. the Water Framework Directive, 2000/60/EC;

    6. the SEA Directive, 2001/42/EC;

    7. the National Emissions Ceiling Directive, 2016/2284;

    8. the Environmental Noise Directive, 2002/49/EC;

    9. the Directive on access to information on the environment (AIE), 2003/4/EC;

    10. the Environmental Liability Directive, 2004/35/EC;

    11. the Bathing Water Directive, 2006/7/EC;

    12. the Groundwater Directive, 2006/118/EC;

    13. the Clean Air For Europe Directive, 2008/50/EC;

    14. the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, 2008/56/EC;

    15. the Waste Framework Directive, 2008/98/EC;

    16. the Birds Directive, 2009/147/EC;

    17. the Industrial Emissions Directive, 2010/75/EU;

    18. the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, 2011/92/EU as amended by 2014/52/EU;

    19. the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, 2014/89/EU;

    20. the Drinking Water Directive, (EU) 2020/2184;

    21. any other EU directive, regulation or other instrument relating to land use, the marine environment, environmental aspects of agriculture and fisheries, water, species, habitats, climate, air, atmosphere, soil,  landscape, genetically modified organisms, archaeological, historic and cultural heritage or any other aspect of or otherwise relating to the environment; or

  2. proceedings related to decisions or other acts and omissions under any of the following legislation or any legislation amending or replacing them (or any legislation which was replaced by the following), including challenges to the validity of such legislation or the adequacy of transposition of EU law therein:

    1. the Foreshore Act 1933;

    2. the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977;

    3. the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992;

    4. the Roads Act 1993;

    5. the Waste Management Act 1996;

    6. the Planning and Development Act 2000;

    7. the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 133 of 2007);

    8. the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011;

    9. the Forestry Act 2014;

    10. the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015;

    11. the Minerals Development Act 2017;

    12. the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021;

    13. statutory provisions referred to in section 4(4) of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 or any other legislation providing for the grant of development consent or environmental licensing, including non-exhaustively or legislation providing procedures for consent for infrastructure projects;

    14. legislation regarding air pollution, dumping at sea, environmental aspects of fisheries, gas, national oil reserves, petroleum, sea pollution or wildlife;

    15. any other legislation relating to land use, the marine environment, environmental aspects of agriculture and fisheries, water, species, habitats, climate, air, atmosphere, soil,  landscape, genetically modified organisms, archaeological, historic and cultural heritage or any other aspect of or otherwise relating to the environment; or

    16. any other legislation giving effect to the directives referred to above or to international legal instruments relating to fields covered by the foregoing.

Operation of the Planning and Environment List

Operation of the Planning and Environment List

The default mode of hearing (subject to consideration of any application to the contrary) for listings in Monday lists, directions, case management or procedural matters is remote, and for cross-examination or other oral evidence is physical. 

Subject to consideration of any applications or submissions by the parties and to the principle of doing justice in public, and all other relevant circumstances, the court will determine the mode of hearing in any individual case not covered by the foregoing.

Any person requesting access to a remote hearing otherwise than via a link supplied to parties and legal representatives should contact the List Registrar via environment@courts.ie.

Requirements of the List

Legal practitioners and persons taking legal proceedings encompassed by the Planning and Environment List are directed to review the requirements of the list as set forth in Practice Direction 124. From time to time the Judge in charge of the List may issue guidance notes or bulletins with content relevant to the operation of the list. These notices will be published on this webpage.

Circulation List

A circulation list is maintained by the List Registrar. If you wish to be added to this circulation list then please contact environment@courts.ie.

Guidance Note

Guidance note issued by the List Judge of the Planning and Environment List as of the 14day of February 2024. This guidance note relates to the procedures in the list associated with a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union and ancillary matters.

Click here to download: Planning & Environment Court Guidance Note