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The Decision of the Irish Supreme Court in Friends of the Irish Environment v Ireland: A Significant Step Towards Government Accountability for Climate Change?

Charlotte Renglet


On 31 July 2020, the Irish Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Friends of the Irish Environment v Ireland that has been praised as a great victory for the struggle against climate change. In this judgment, the Court quashed the national climate change mitigation plan adopted by the Irish government for falling well short of the standards required by the enabling legislation. This article analyses this decision from a comparative perspective and provides a critical appraisal of its impacts on the advancement of climate litigation. It focuses in particular on the contribution of the case to the understanding of two common legal hurdles in climate litigation: standing and separation of powers.

Charlotte Renglet, PhD candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). For correspondence: I would like to sincerely thank my supervisors, Prof. Dr. Stefaan Smis and Dr. Dorothée Cambou, as well as my colleague, Sarah El Amouri, for their feedback and helpful comments.


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