Communication: new case No. 0166 of 2022

IDENTIFIER
62022CN0166
LANGUAGE
English
COURT
Court of Justice of the European Union
AG OPINION
NO
REFERENCES MADE
0
REFERENCED
0
DOCUMENT TYPE
Communication: new case

Judgment



16.5.2022   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 198/26


Reference for a preliminary ruling from the High Court (Ireland) made on 25 February 2022 — Hellfire Massy Residents Association v An Bord Pleanála, The Minister for Housing, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland, The Attorney General

(Case C-166/22)

(2022/C 198/38)

Language of the case: English

Referring court

High Court (Ireland)

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Hellfire Massy Residents Association

Defendants: An Bord Pleanála, The Minister for Housing, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland, The Attorney General

Other parties: South Dublin County Council, An Taisce — The National Trust for Ireland, Save the Bride Otters

Questions referred

1.

The first question is:

whether the general principles of EU law arising from the supremacy of the EU legal order have the effect that a rule of domestic procedure whereby an applicant in judicial review must expressly plead the relevant legal provisions cannot preclude an applicant who challenges the compatibility of domestic law with identified EU law from also relying on a challenge based on legal doctrines or instruments that are to be read as inherently relevant to the interpretation of such EU law, such as the principle that EU environmental law should be read in conjunction with the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 as an integral part of the EU legal order.

2.

The second question is:

whether arts. 12 and/or 16 of directive 92/43/EEC (1) and/or those provisions as read in conjunction with art. 9(2) of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 and/or in conjunction with the principle that member states must take all the requisite specific measures for the effective implementation of the directive have the effect that a rule of domestic procedure whereby an applicant must not raise a ‘hypothetical question’ and ‘must be affected in reality or as a matter of fact’ before she can complain regarding the compatibility of the domestic law with a provision of EU law cannot be relied on to preclude a challenge made by an applicant who has invoked the public participation rights in respect of an administrative decision and who then wishes to pursue a challenge to the validity of a provision of domestic law by reference to EU law in anticipation of future damage to the environment as result of an alleged shortcoming in the domestic law, where there is a reasonable possibility of such future damage, in particular because the development has been authorised in an area which is a habitat for species subject to strict protection and/or because applying the precautionary approach there is a possibility that post-consent surveys may give rise to a need to apply for a derogation under art. 16 of the directive.

3.

The third question is:

whether arts. 12 and/or 16 of directive 92/43/EEC and/or those provisions as read in conjunction with arts. 6(1) to (9) and/or 9(2) of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 and/or with the principle that member states must take all the requisite specific measures for the effective implementation of the directive have the effect that a derogation licence system provided in domestic law to give effect to art. 16 of the directive should not be parallel to and independent of the development consent system but should be part of an integrated approval process involving a decision by a competent authority (as opposed to an ad hoc judgement formed by the developer itself on the basis of a general provision of criminal law) as to whether a derogation licence should be applied for by reason of matters identified following the grant of development consent and/or involving a decision by a competent authority as to what surveys are required in the context of consideration as to whether such a licence should be applied for.

4.

The fourth question is:

whether arts. 12 and/or 16 of directive 92/43/EEC and/or those provisions as read in conjunction with arts. 6(1) to (9) and/or 9(2) of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June 1998 have the consequence that, in respect of a development where the grant of development consent was subjected to appropriate assessment under art. 6(3) of directive 92/43/EEC, and in a context where a post-consent derogation may be sought under art. 16 of directive 92/43/EEC, there is a requirement for a public participation procedure in conformity with art. 6 of the Aarhus Convention.


(1)  Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (OJ 1992, L 206, p. 7).



Citations

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