Written Answers. - Aarhus Convention.

John Gormley

Question:

689 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the plans, if any, he has to give effect to those provisions of the Aarhus Convention which will oblige Ireland to establish judicial or administrative procedures which provide adequate and effective remedies which are fair, equitable, timely and not prohibitively expensive in respect of access to information and public participation in decision making; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23378/98]

Trevor Sargent

Question:

691 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the plans, if any, he has to implement into Irish law the overriding general principles of law and basic rights reflected in the Aarhus Convention, which the Government has committed itself to ratifying; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23377/98]

John Gormley

Question:

734 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the plans, if any, to give effect to those provisions of the Aarhus Convention which will require the Government to ensure that members of the public have access to administrative and judicial procedures to challenge acts and omissions by private persons and public authorities which contravene provisions of national law relating to the environment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23380/98]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 689, 691 and 734 together.

I refer to the response to Questions Nos. 78 and 79 of 19 November 1998. My Department continues to work towards early ratification of the convention in consultation with other relevant Departments. There are a range of technical issues to be addressed and the process will take some time to complete.