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Terms of Reference
The Northern Ireland working party provides advice to UKELA on environmental law issues relevant to Northern Ireland with a particular emphasis on environmental governance. It focuses on topical issues and seeks to influence them in the context of UKELA's overall aims.
The current priorities of the working party are:
- advising on the challenges that Brexit poses for environmental law in Northern Ireland
- advising UKELA on its engagement on the way forward for environmental governance in Northern Ireland following the NI Government’s decision not to create an independent Environmental Protection Agency.
- working to secure improvements in the regulatory and enforcement roles of the renamed NI Environment Agency, in particular through the NI Government’s “Better Regulation Initiative” and any future consultations.
- helping UKELA work with other NGOs who share UKELA's objectives in Northern Ireland.
- providing expert speakers for events.
- monitoring the implementation of European legislation in Northern Ireland, and advising UKELA when to make representations about any shortfalls.
- providing input into consultations on the implementation of legislation in Northern Ireland.
Any member of UKELA with expertise in Northern Ireland is welcome to join the working party. Contact the group's convenor if you would like to join. There is no requirement for members to attend meetings, and most communications are electronic.
Working party members are free to circulate material to other members and provide updates, exchange information etc which may be of interest to the group, or make suggestions at any time about the work of the group.
We will post details of our next event in due course.
Recent Events and Activities
May 2017 Belfast workshop on Brexit and environmental law in Northern Ireland
This half-day workshop at Cleaver Fulton Rankin Solicitors was convened to discuss the challenges for rolling over environmental law under the Great Repeal Bill.
September 2015 Seminar on the Environmental Better Regulation Bill
UKELA partnered with EPLANI for a seminar on the Environmental Better Regulation Bill. Speakers included representatives from the Department of the Environment (NI), Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association and Friends of the Earth (NI).
The working party also met to discuss Better Regulation Reforms on Saturday 21st June 2014 at UKELA's annual conference in Edinburgh. The meeting was held jointly with the Wales and Scottish Law working parties, and examined reforms across the devolved administrations.
October 2013 seminar on Strategic Environmental Assessment
UKELA partnered with EPLANI once again for the fifth in the annual series of seminars, focusing the spotlight this year on Strategic Environmental Assessment in Northern Ireland. Speakers included representatives from the Department of Environment, Friends of the Earth, Landmark Chambers and Progenus.
October 2012 seminar on Habitat Protection
UKELA partnered with EPLANI for a half day seminar on habitats protection in Northern Ireland. Speakers included the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the National Trust, Landmark Chambers and Queen's University Belfast. UKELA's nature conservation working party convenor also joined the panel.
Independent Environment Agency
The working party has supported options to establish an independent Environment Agency in Northern Ireland in the latest government consultation on this matter (September 2011).
The Working Party had considered the independent Final Report on the Review of Environmental Governance in Northern Ireland published and presented to the devolved government in May 2007.