Following the Irish Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) decision to allow genetically modified (GM) potato trials in County Carlow, a group of environmentalists and organic producers reportedly mounted a legal challenge under the Aarhus Convention which allows environmental legal issues to be pursued under a “non-prohibitively expensive order.” According to a press report, Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan indicated that he lacked jurisdiction to make such an order, but gave the group leave to provide short notice to the EPA of its intention to challenge the costs issue. Ratified in June 2012 and not yet evidently part of Irish law, article 9 of the convention apparently gives those challenging “critical environmental decisions” the ability to be heard in court without the threat of large legal costs if they lose. EPA’s consent to the GM trials is reportedly subject to eight conditions that include reporting requirements and trial management, and the land will be monitored by scientists until 2020. See The Irish Times, August 29, 2012.
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Environmentalists challenge GM potato trials in Ireland
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