A special judicial review procedure applies to planning-related matters in Ireland. Applicants seeking to challenge a decision of a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála primarily use these ‘special’ procedures.
The procedures are set out in Sections 50 and 50A of the Planning and Development Act 2000.
It seems that the legislature deems planning matters to be of such public importance that special rules must apply. This may be because the successful granting of planning permission can have a major impact on land values.
Three factors, in particular, distinguish a planning-related judicial review:
Requesting a court to review a decision of a planning authority is commonplace. This can include any of the following and more:
The general rule that applies to judicial review litigation is that ‘costs follow the event’. This means the successful party has their legal costs paid by the losing party.
However, the Planning and Development Act 2000 outlines unique rules for legal costs when environmental issues are involved. These rules come under Section 50B of the Act. They were introduced by the Irish Government to comply with an EU Directive and the UN’s Aarhus Convention.
The rules apply to applicants seeking judicial reviews involving:
– an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA),
– a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) or
– the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control directives (IPPC)
In these cases, applicants are not held liable to pay a public body’s legal costs if they lose their case.
If you are not sure whether your case comes under these rules, you can find out before you take your actual case to court. This is provided for under Section 7 of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011. It allows a potential applicant to bring proceedings to court to determine whether their case qualifies for special cost rules.
Section 50B of the Planning and Development Act 2000 also allows for an applicant’s costs to be paid:
Legal costs may be ordered against an applicant, in certain cases:
Any grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court are extremely limited. Such appeals will only be allowed where the decision involves a point of law of exceptional public importance.
Orpen Franks Solicitors LLP have a successful track record in achieving favourable outcomes for our clients in judicial review actions. If you have an inquiry about Judicial Reviews, please call us on +353 1 637 6200 or email email@example.com
Orpen Franks Solicitors LLP
28 & 30 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland
Telephone: +353 1 637 6200
Facsimile: +353 1 637 6262