Environmental Law Enforcement: Emerging Challenges 2019

Date released: November 22, 2019


The Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Laura Burke; and the Chief Justice of Ireland, the Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, will provide the opening addresses at an environmental law conference on Monday, 25th November in Dublin. The purpose of the conference is to explore the role of law and its enforcement in shaping our approach to environmental protection.

Commenting on the conference, EPA’s Director General, Laura Burke, said:

“The enforcement of environmental law is fundamental to the protection of our environment and our enforcement strategies are influenced by how that law is interpreted in the courts. The importance of this conference is that it brings together practicing legal professionals, leading academics and researchers, policy makers, concerned stakeholders as well as professional regulators to explore emerging enforcement challenges in relation to the protection of nature, climate-change and waste management.”

The conference will explore emerging case law in relation to protecting the natural environment including the case for tougher penalties for wildlife crime. Delegates will hear about the role of law in delivering on the Paris Climate Goals and in avoiding climate breakdown. And, there will be an examination of the current legal and regulatory framework for waste management as well as current waste law enforcement and policy.

The conference is being co-hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL). 

Dr Áine Ryall, ICEL said:

“Effective implementation of environmental law takes on even greater significance in the contemporary context of climate breakdown and the biodiversity crisis.  This conference provides an important forum for engagement and informed debate on environmental law enforcement, including the impact of European Union law on Irish environmental law and policy.” 

A unique feature of the conference will be a session on emerging issues in environmental law research in Ireland, where three PhD candidates will present their cutting-edge work.

Notes to Editor

The Environmental Law Enforcement: Emerging Challenges 2019 conference will include contributions from:

  • The Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice;
  • Laura Burke, Director General EPA;
  • Dr John Temple Lang; 
  • Margaret Gray SC, QC;
  • Prof Mark Poustie, UCC;
  • The Hon Ms Justice Mary Laffoy;
  • Gillian Lobo, ClientEarth;
  • Dr Andrew Jackson, UCD;
  • Mark Griffin, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment;
  • Alison Fanagan, A&L Goodbody;
  • Tom Flynn BL;
  • Dr Áine Ryall;
  • Dr Tom Ryan, EPA and
  • PhD candidates Laurie O’Keefe (UCC), Sarah Enright (UCC), and Edwin Alblas (UCD).