Reblogged from The Law is My Oyster with thanks to Neil, Pat and David for their efforts. The Irish Authorities have got themselves into a precarious state of affairs viz a viz their responsibilities under International and European environmental law :
The first session involved the opening statements. These are delivered in writing to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC) beforehand, which allows a speaker from both sides to paraphrase and highlight the main points underpinning the Communication and the Party’s Response in about ten minutes or so.
And then it was the turn of the Curator. The Curator is the ACCC member who was assigned the case, researches it, makes some sort of preliminary assessment (and perhaps recommendations?) to the rest of the Committee in closed session before the parties are invited in.
The Curator asks ‘clarification questions’ to both the Communicant (us) and the Party (the Irish government) – sometimes a common question for both sides to answer, and sometimes a question directly and specifically at one party but the other is entitled to respond to the answer to the question. It is a very European civil-law way of doing it and you need to listen to the questions carefully, as they often have a sting in the tail.