Court of Appeal rules on "direct effect" of EIA Directive

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the requirements of the EC 1985 Directive on environmental impact assessment apply to a dormant minerals permission which is revived under special provisions in the Planning and Compensation Act 1991. But the real significance of the judgment is the Court's extensive analysis of the nature of the "direct effect" of the Directive. Even though its ruling would inevitably affect the developer concerned, the Court held that this did not offend the principles of direct effect. The judgment will have implications for other environmental Directives where private parties are inevitably drawn into legal disputes concerning the exercise of powers by public authorities.

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