Case Hamster: CJEU clarifies species protection rules
In its ruling from July 2nd (C-477/19), the European Court of Justice (CJEU) confirmed the strict protection that the Art 12 (1) (d) Habitats Directive guarantees. It also clarifies the term "resting place" in the same provision - the term covers even places which are currently not used by a species. Trigger for this case was the deterioration and destruction of hamster burrows caused by construction works (site clearance) in Vienna. Another preliminary ruling on this case referring to the interpretation of “breeding site”, “deterioration” and “destruction” is still pending.
Supreme Court of Ireland rules in favour of climate case
In its ruling from July 31st, the Supreme Court of Ireland found the NGO “Friends of the Irish Environment” in the right with their climate case. The NGO argued that the government is in violation of its duty to produce a sufficient and transparent plan on how to reach its emission reducing targets in light of the treaty of Paris. The ruling is mostly formal in nature, the claim of the duty to protect its citizens against the climate crisis was not ruled upon (or ruled out for that matter). The case is the second successful climate case at the level of a European Supreme Court following the Dutch case of URGENDA. The Austrian climate case is still awaiting a ruling, the Irish case is not likely to have a direct effect on it, however.