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Special Areas of Conservation: School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

The New Legislation on Special Areas of Conservation (SACS) and Natural Heritage Areas


Date: Saturday, 24 November 2012

Venue: The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin


About the Conference

The New Legislation on Special Areas of Conservation (SACS) and Natural Heritage AreasThis course is designed to acquaint delegates with the very complex law and scientific underpinning involved in advising and implementing the Habitats Directive in Ireland.

This intensive course will be delivered by leading academic and practitioners in the field. 


9:15 Registration


Speakers: Ms Katharine Duff and Dr. Declan Doogue

Implementing the Habitats Directive from a scientific point of view

Background to the Habitats Directive – site designation, protected habitats and species.  Carrying out Habitats Directive Assessments from an ecologist’s point of vue; the process, assessing impact significance, cumulative effects and determining conservation status.  Effectiveness of the Habitats Directive in conserving biodiversity in Ireland, an NGO perspective.


Speaker: Professor Oran Doyle

Property rights and compensation

The Habitats Directive, as implemented into Irish law, imposes significant land use controls. This paper assesses the legitimacy of these land use controls, having regard to property rights, as well as the compensation provisions contained in the Habitats Regulations and the Planning and Development Act, 2000.



Tea/Coffee Break



Speaker: Professor Oran Doyle

Plans and site management

The Habitats Directive, as well as requiring land use controls, requires the active management of Natura 2000 sites and the integration of habitat considerations into various plans. This paper addresses the requirements of the Directive in this regard,the plans which must be assessed and how EU requirements have been transposed into Irish law and implemented in practice.



Speaker: Garrett Simons, SC

Obligations relating to Habitats in EU law

“Screening” of plans and projects – Duty to give reasons – Can mitigation measures be taken into account in screening – Appropriate Assessment – Distinction between EIA and AA – Meaning of “adversely affect the integrity of the site concerned” – Duty to remedy earlier failures to comply with Habitats Directive – Setting aside existing development consents.


1:10 Lunch


Speaker: Professor Yvonne Scannell


The Habitats Directive and Planning Control

The conservation of habitats is largely ensured through the planning process. This paper examines the obligations with respect to habitat on planning authorities and on An Bord Pleanala and how the system is supposed to work.


Speaker:  Mr. Brendan Slattery

Natural Heritage Areas /Proposed Natural Heritage Areas

Definition of NHAs. Why NHAs. Controls over activities which could impact on NHAs. Enforcement mechanisms.


3:30 - 4:00





Professor Oran Doyle LL.B, LL.M (Harv), Ph.D., F.T.C.D. lectures Constitutional Law I and Jurisprudence on the LL.B. programme and has previously lectured Contemporary Problems in Irish Constitutional law on the LL.M. programme. His principal areas of interest are jurisprudence, constitutional law and constitutional theory. He is a founding member of the Irish Jurisprudence Society and convenes the constitutional law and policy group within the Law School. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Academy for the Study of the Jurisprudence of the Family. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 2010. He is the author of Constitutional Equality Law and Constitutional Law: Text, Cases and Materials and co-author of The Habitats Directive in Ireland.  


Dr Declan Doogue (FLS) is a Botanist, Ecologist, Teacher, organiser of Biological Recording Schemes and Writer. Publications include Flora of County Dublin (1998) and Wildflowers of Ireland (2010)


Katharine Duff BA. Mod (Natural Science), M.Sc. (Environmental Studies) is an Ecologist and graduate of Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. She has over twenty-five years’ experience  in ecological assessment, habitat mapping and vegetation surveys.  Katharine has worked in both the private and public sector.


Dr. Yvonne Scannell, M.A., LL.M. (Cantab.), PH.D., LL.D.(h.c.) , BL is the author of Environmental and Land Use Law and she is a Professor in the Law School and practices as a consultant with Arthur Cox Solicitors.


Garrett Simons S.C. is a practising barrister specialising in planning and environmental law. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and author of Planning and Development Law (Thomson Round Hall, 2007) which is now in its 2nd ed. He has previously lectured in the Law School, Trinity College and at the King's Inns, Dublin.

 Brendan Slattery LL.B., is a Partner in the Environment, Planning & Climate Change Group at Arthur Cox, Solicitors. Brendan specialises in the delivery of local and national infrastructure.

The right to substitute or rearrange lecture(r)s is reserved.



Reservations and Fees


€200 per person.

Fees include lecture materials, tea/coffee break and light lunch.


·       Places are limited so early booking is advisable.



Cheques should be made payable to TCD No. 1 Account.


Please complete the attached form and return it to

CPD Conference Programmes, School of Law,
House 39, Trinity College, Dublin 2

Contacts: Conference Reservations: Telephone Soraya or Catherine at +353 1 896 2772 / +353 1 896 2367;
Fax Number: (01) 677 0449; Email: