Submission on Draft Agriculture Appeals (Amendment) Bill 2020

2020

Our Response to the Public Consultation on Forestry Appeals

An Taisce considers that this Heads of Bill (“Heads”) presents a significant erosion of the public’s right to access justice and participate in the Irish forestry planning process.

If passed, the Bill would drastically reduce the ability of ordinary citizens and environmental NGOs to take appeals on forestry decisions which have potentially negative environmental consequences.

Through several amendments, the Bill aims to significantly curtail which members of the public may take an appeal, and would place arbitrary and restrictive thresholds on which organisations qualify as environmental NGOs. The amendments would also apply financial pressure on qualifying members of the public and environmental NGOs who wish to take an appeal.

An Taisce therefore calls on the Government to withdraw the proposed legislation for the reasons discussed below.

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