The implications of the Supreme Court judgement in the Climate Case for climate action in Ireland

Start: Wednesday, September 09, 2020 5:00 PM Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna (GMT+01:00)

This event is at 5pm Irish Summer Time

Ireland is one of only two countries (the other being Urgenda in the Netherlands) to see a successful challenge to government climate policy in the courts. In a groundbreaking judgment in the case taken by Friends of the Irish Environment delivered on the 31st of July 2020, seven Supreme Court judges unanimously found that the 2017 National Mitigation Plan falls ‘well short’ of the specificity that would be required to comply with the 2015 Climate Act. The Court quashed the existing 2017 National Mitigation Plan, which will now require the government to formulate a new plan that covers the full period remaining to 2050.  

This is a truly landmark decision that has has major implications for climate law in terms of clarifying the precise duties of the Minister under the 2015 Act, the degree of discretion available to the executive in formulating climate policy, and the justiciability of national mitigation plans. At the same time, the rights arguments raised in the case under the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights were not successful. The Chief Justice concluded that a right to a healthy environment cannot be derived from the Constitution, hinting however that existing constitutional rights and state obligations may be relevant in environmental litigation to a case in which such issues would prove crucial.

We are delighted to be joined by Dr. Andrew Jackson on behalf of the FIE legal team for a unique opportunity to tease out the implications of this landmark judgment in our next webinar on Wednesday the 9th of September at 5pm. We will have an opportunity to hear how the case was argued, and his analysis of the Supreme Court judgment and what it means for Irish climate policy and the new climate amendment bill promised by the government within 100 days.

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