Original language


Date of text
Type of court
National - higher court
Court name
Supreme Court
Seat of court
Reference number
[2013] IESC 31
Injunctive Relief, Licences, Remedies, Jurisdiction, Permits, Access to Justice, Environmental Impact Assessments, Taxation, Prevention, Standing
Free tags
Agricultural & rural development
Legal questions
J. Denham; J. Fennelly; J. McKechnie

In this case, thirteen applications for the judicial review of a decision of the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) to grant consent to a biotechnology company to carry out the deliberate release of certain genetically modified potato lines have been regrouped into one.

The plaintiffs challenged the decision but all their thirteen applications for judicial review where rejected by the High Court because they were not respecting the eight week period for challenging a decision of the EPA. As a result, they challenged the decisions on the basis that Article 9(4) Aarhus Convention requires that the procedures for challenging the validity of certain administrative decisions affecting the environment “shall provide adequate and effective remedies, including injunctive relief as appropriate and be fair, equitable, timely and not prohibitively expensive”.

The judges of the Supreme Court reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 and the legislations that implement the Aahrus Convention within Irish domestic law and considered that the eight weeks delay provided by the law was in line with the Aahrus Convention and could not be considered to unfair and not timely. As a result, the appeal was dismissed.