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Habitats Protection, Appropriate Assessments and Protecting Species of Flora and Fauna - CPD Event

The Law School, Trinity College Dublin is delighted to announce this Intensive Environmental Law Course directed by Prof. Yvonne Scannell, taking place on Thursday, 9 May 2024.

Date of Event: Thursday, 9 May 2024
Time: 9:30am - 5:00pm
CPD Hours/Points: 5 points / hours

The Joly Theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2

Entrance is via the Lincoln Place Gate only. Delegates must have reserved place prior to arrival. Please note, bookings will be closed at 3 pm Wednesday, 8 May next.


There have been numerous challenges to planning and other environmental decisions in recent years based on arguments that the Habitats Directive has not been property transposed and/or applied. This course will cover the fast changing EU and Irish law relating to Habitats, what the law is (and should be), the most common mistakes made when dealing with Habitats issues, practical problems which occur, the methodology for decision-making on Habitats, liability for damaging habitats, the protection of species of wild flora and fauna and other important issues. It should be of interest to lawyers, planners, engineers, construction companies, environmental professionals and anyone involved in development in Ireland.

This intensive training course is organised by the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin under the directorship of Professor Emerita Yvonne Scannell. All lecturers are experienced and distinguished in this area of law.

Programme of Events

9:30 - 10:00 Registration
10:00 - 11:00 Introduction Habitats Directive (Dr Yvonne Scannell) - Why we need to know EU law. Where to find it. Important decisions relating to concepts in the Habitats Directive such as meanings of “plans or projects”, “conservation objectives”, "significant effects", “likely”, “best scientific knowledge/evidence”, “adversely affecting the integrity”, “reasons of overriding public interest”. The reasoning process required. Difference between Article 6.2 and 6.3.. Important decisions on Habitats in the CJEU. Differences between AA and EIA. Liability for damaging European sites. Liability of competent authorities for not requiring AA.
11:00 - 11:30 Tea / Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:15 Appropriate Assessment in the Planning System (Grainne O'Callaghan) - Screening for appropriate assessments; what must be screened; what species and habitats must be covered? What are mitigation measures? Duty to give reasons for screening; Difference between mitigation measures and compensatory measures; Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment; the Nature of the Determination; Duty to record the determination; Designation of sites post-grant of planning permission; some recent rulings of the European Court and what they mean in practice. Some changes in the pending Planning and Development Bill 2023.
12:15 - 12:45 Protecting Species of Flora and Fauna (Dr Yvonne Scannell) - What is the difference between protecting species and habitats? What species must be protected? What is the State’s obligation? What is strict protection? What is deliberate disturbance. What is the natural range of a species? Must all species be protected? What derogations may be allowed? Must a derogation licence be obtained before planning permission/any environmental consent is granted? Is public participation required in derogation licensing procedure?
12:45 - 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 - 14:45 Appropriate Assessments outside the Planning System (Danielle Conaghan) - The plans and projects covered by the Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations 2011-23. The transposition of Habitats Directive outside of planning law. Obligations on the State/public authorities under Article 6.2 of the Habitats Directive. When is AA required for developments not covered by the planning system? Multiple requirements for appropriate assessments. The position of public authorities as regulators and developers. The People Over Wind appropriate assessment screening case and Eco-Advocacy.
14:45 - 15:30 Habitats at the Coalface - Real Life Experiences - Dyfrig Hubbel will describe how his practice deals with Habitats matters and will give examples of issues arising in practice and how to deal with them.
15:30 - 16:00 Tea / Coffee Break
16:00 - 17:00 Case Study - This will be a scenario to emphasise what we have covered in the Course and to encourage you to ask questions in an open discussion. It will illustrate how to comply with the requirements for analysing, reasoning, and coming to conclusions. Chatham House rules apply.

* The organisers reserve the right to change lecturers and the order of lectures. No liability is accepted for the accuracy of presentations or papers or for anything said on the Course.


Danielle Conaghan is a partner and head of the Environmental and Planning Law Group in Arthur Cox, Solicitors one of the top environmental law firms. She has vast experience of Environmental law and has advised in many of the leading cases in the last 10 years including Kilkenny Cheese and . She has a special interest in renewable energy projects and water law.

Dyfrig Hubble is a Principal Ecologist with Malone ORegan Environmental leading its ecology team which offers expertise across a wide range of biodiversity specialties. Dyfrig has over 15 years’ experience across a wide range of ecological and environmental projects in both Ireland and the UK. He graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) Tropical Environmental Science and an M.Sc. Environmental Forestry. He is also a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Grainne O'Callaghan is a solicitor practicing exclusively in the Environmental and Planning law area. She formerly worked at Field Fisher, the advisers to the EPA. She now works at Arthur Cox. She is Secretary of the Irish Environmental Law Association. She lectures on Planning Law at TUD.

Professor Yvonne Scannell is a retired Professor of Environmental law, but she is still active in the field. She has written seven books on the topic and has been widely recognised internationally as a leading European Environmental lawyer. She has been recognised as one of the leading European Environmental lawyers in the EU and is a former member of the European Council for Environmental law and the Avocetta Group. She has a special interest in teaching environmental law and in waste management.

Reservations / Fees


Please email name, company and contact details for the delegate (s) attending to or by telephone at 01-896 2367.

Fees: Fees are inclusive of tea/coffee breaks, lunch is not provided.

  • €300 per person.