Case Note: Charging for Public Participation: Fees for Submissions or Observations on Environmental Impact Assessment

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In Case C-216/05, Commission v Ireland, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Irish legislation which required the payment of a fee by those making submissions regarding an environmental impact assessment (EIA) did not breach the EIA Directive. Although the net legal issue in the case was straightforward, the wider implications of the case for both the EIA regime and the general freedom which Member States have in implementing directives are important. Given this, the analysis of both the Advocate-General and the Second Chamber is sometimes shallower than the case warranted.

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