Functions of the ELIG
The overarching objective of ELIG (and the ELIG process) is to assist in the protection and enhancement of Ireland's environment by seeking to improve the transposition, implementation and enforcement of Environmental Law.
The ELIG comprises of :
- Nominated representatives from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) or any other Government Department or agency or local authority, as appropriate, who has responsibility for managing particular cases or issues relating to environmental law, which are included in the programme of work for the ELIG.
- Nominated representatives of An Taisce and the Environmental Pillar who will represent the views of all member organisations of the Environmental Pillar and the views of An Taisce in relation to specific issues / cases relating to environmental law, which are included in the programme of work for the ELIG.
- Collectively, the nominated experts dealing with each individual case and issue will be known as the Environmental Law Implementation Group.
The Parties to the ELIG select their representatives via their own internal processes and nominate one main contact point for each issue / case.
Meetings of the ELIG
There are no fixed meetings of the full ELIG. Identified contact points for each issue or case forming part of the work programme of the ELIG agree the most appropriate methods for communication and consultation, given the diverse range of issues that may arise.
The ELIG aims to:
- Enhance and improve upon the current case-by-case or issue-by-issue engagement on environmental law matters between DCCAE and other relevant Government Departments and agencies and the Environmental Pillar and An Taisce;
- Act as the primary vehicle through which communication and problem solving, in relation to issues of transposition, implementation and enforcement of environmental law, between the DCCAE and An Taisce and the other members of the Environmental Pillar occurs. Any issues of concern or non-compliance with any element of environmental law identified by An Taisce or the other members of the Environmental Pillar should, where appropriate, first be raised with the identified key contact point for the issue through the ELIG.
- Provide direct contacts for each case / issue and ensure that these are kept up to date;
- Implement communication and consultation mechanisms that ensure that Government Departments, agencies and the Environmental Pillar and An Taisce are informed of material issues and changes relating to the creation, amendment, transposition, implementation or enforcement of Environmental Law and can contribute to same;
- While respecting and recognising the constraints and requirements of the legislative process and the short timeframes available to the State to respond to infringement letters from the European Commission and rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union, ensure that, in respect of the transposition of EU Environmental Law or the creation or modification of Irish environmental law, the DCCAE and other relevant Government Departments include the identified key contact point of the Environmental Pillar and An Taisce in their stakeholder consultations and provide them with a timely opportunity to submit observations where possible.
Role of the Environmental Law Implementation Group Bureau
The Bureau comprises of the following:
- Two representatives from DCCAE - known as the 'Department Representatives'.
- One representative nominated by An Taisce and one representative nominated by the Environmental Pillar - known as the 'ENGO Representatives'
- Collectively DCCAE, the Environmental Pillar and An Taisce are known as 'the Parties to the Bureau'
The Parties to the Bureau select their representatives via their own internal processes and also nominate alternates. If a representative cannot attend a meeting the alternate can attend and will have the same status as the representative they are standing in for. Otherwise, attendance at Bureau meetings is only on the invitation of the Bureau, acting collectively.
Parties to the Bureau may seek the advice of experts and where deemed beneficial, and with the agreement of the Bureau collectively, may invite such experts to attend Bureau meetings.
Meetings of the Bureau
The Bureau generally meets bi-annually or at the request of ENGO representatives.