The proposals contained in the Housing and Planning and Development Bill will, if enacted, pose a serious threat to environmental democracy and citizens’ access to justice rights; and significantly restrict Irish environmental NGOs and lay litigants from challenging planning decisions in the courts.
It is CLM’s view that the Bill, if enacted in its current form, will contravene Ireland’s obligations under the Aarhus Convention (and its implementing EU Directives), the Constitution and the repeated jurisprudence of the Court of Justice.
In our submission to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, we made the following recommendations:
- Abandon the Housing and Planning and Development Bill 2019
- Provide legal aid for plaintiffs seeking to challenge environmental decisions to ensure effective access to justice in line with the Aarhus Convention, Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Articles 6 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights
- Support engagement and participation within communities around environmental matters to ensure:
- Fulfilment of Aarhus Convention obligations
- Consensus building on the need for environmental action
- ‘Just transition’ and recognition of the intersection between environmental action and responses to issues faced by the community e.g. workers’ rights, energy poverty, health, housing, transport.
Click here to read our submission in full.