European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

In December Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan amended the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations (AIE) using a statutory instrument (SI 662/2011). This amended the original Regulations SI 133/2007. Thanks to the excellent Fred Logue, here is a consolidated version:

4 thoughts on “European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2011”

  1. Is this mainly just housekeeping or are there other reasons for these changes?

    I’m guessing removal of the reference to the directive is so you can’t rely on what the directive says as much as you use to be able to?

    I’m not sure if I like the idea of a list of public authorities. Even if it is just an “indicative” list, any body not on the list will use the list as something to back their claim that they are not a public authority.

  2. @Cian

    I think it is just housekeeping. The Directive, I think, requires that there be a register of public authorities that can be easily accessed. I don’t think it will be possible to argue that not being on the list means that you are not a public authority. On the other hand it would be very difficult to argue the opposite.

    The change that causes me a little concern is Article 15(5) which permits the Commissioner to deem an appeal withdrawn if the information is provided in whole or in part. It’s the ‘in part’ element that is troublesome since there is no guidance on how the Commissioner should evaluate this. Does this meant that if one document out of 1000 is provided then the Commissioner can deem an appeal withdrawn. The Commissioner’s office is under-resourced and is mindful of the cost of High Court appeals so this “get out of jail free” card could be used in the wrong way.

    We shall have to keep an eye on it.

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