Here are some suggested questions you might find useful in considering your submission.
1. Should any of the proposed updates outlined be amended? If yes, please provide details of the suggested amendment and why you consider such an amendment to be necessary.
2. Should any other specific part of the Regulations be amended? If yes, please provide details of the suggested amendment and why you consider such an amendment to be necessary.
3. Any other comments on the existing AIE Regulations and their implementation of the AIE Directive 2003/4/EC.
The AIE Regulations form part of a legislative package that implements the first pillar of the Aarhus Convention and transposes the AIE Directive in Irish law. The AIE Regulations, amongst other things, provide a definition of environmental information and outline the manner in which public authorities are required to deal with requests. The AIE Regulations also provide for three levels of review procedure: an internal review; an appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information and an appeal to the High Court on a point of law.
In 2020, Ireland committed to amending the AIE Regulations in response to findings of non-compliance by the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC). Informed by a public consultation that took place between February and April 2021, the regulations were reviewed and updated. These updated regulations will ensure Ireland’s continued compatibility with EU law and with the Aarhus Convention.
Additional background information on the AIE Regulations and the Aarhus Convention
- Further information on the Aarhus Convention is available on gov.ie and on the Aarhus Convention website
- The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has published a document called The Aarhus Convention: Implementation Guide, which provides both a general overview of the principles behind the Convention and a detailed article-by-article analysis of its provisions
- The full title of the AIE Directive, referred to in the public consultation is Directive 2003/4/EC, of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC
- In November 2020, The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee adopted findings regarding Ireland’s compliance with the Access to Information pillar of the Aarhus Convention
- For further information, please see the Citizens Information website
The closing date for submissions is 5.30pm Monday 18 December 2023
Public consultation on proposed amendments to the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations 2007-2018
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications