Case C-683/16, Deutscher Naturschutzring – stop German fishing boats scraping the bottom

Even if Article 3(1)(d) TFEU gives the EU an exclusive competence over the common fisheries policy, then can a Member State still enact laws to stop boats from bottom-trawling by virtue of EU environmental law? More

Case C-528/16, Confédération paysanne – against new herbicide-resistant plants

American fields are being planted with seeds that have benefited from new techniques of genetic engineering like gene editing. These new seeds have been modified to produce plants that will even survive being sprayed with lethal herbicides. However, French environmental groups anticipate that these new seeds will be soon imported into the EU. They fear that the EU rules on genetically modified organisms in Directive 2001/18/EC are just not able to regulate these new seeds properly. The French courts simply wonder if the EU rules contravene the EU’s ‘precautionary principle’ enshrined in Article 191(2) TFEU. More

Case C-293/16, Sharda Europe – Deadline missed? Schade!

The problem in this case is twofold. First, what is to be done where EU legislation sets a deadline but the language versions of the legislation are said to diverge? Second, even if the EU legislation sets a date, then can its legal effect still be interpreted away with the aid of national procedural law? More

Case C-470/16, North East Pylon Pressure Campaign – piling on the environmental information pressure

If there is an EU-authorised construction project that requires an ‘environmental impact statement’ for the purposes of the EU’s Directive 97/11/EC, but the environmental information which underpins that statement is then suddenly changed; then when can people go to their local judge and ask him to review this matter of EU environmental law? Must they wait for a planning body to issue a final decision before they can go to a judge? And what should be done in Ireland? People there have already gone to their local judge before the final decision and have asked for an injunction to stop a planning enquiry. The State owned energy company says that this is a frivolous legal action because of course the Irish court must wait for the Irish body to make a determination; consequently, the company wants its litigation costs paid for by the claimant. And while Irish law does allow costs to be awarded in the event of a claim being frivolous, is that Irish exception (and others in Irish costs law) compatible with the principle in the EU Directive and Aarhus Convention that each side bears its own costs? And what should an Irish judge do when another part of the Irish legislation seems to reflect another Aarhus Convention obligation but it is even narrower in scope than the Convention? More