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Report inadmissible as author was not an expert in the relevant foreign law

By: Shane Kiely BL

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High Court, by way of preliminary issue, determines that a report concerning environmental proceedings, which included opinions concerning matters of foreign law, was inadmissible, on the grounds that the author had failed to prove as a matter of fact that he was an expert in the relevant law.

In the substantive proceedings the applicant seeks an order for judicial review quashing the government’s decision to approve the National Mitigation Plan, which was published on 19th July, 2017 and was made pursuant to s. 4 of the Climate Change and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 - applicant maintains that the plan fails to comply with the requirements of that Act and that the respondents have failed to comply with national law, EU law, and the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, particularly Article 3 thereof - proceedings are now at an advanced stage and a hearing date has been allocated to the case - application in which the parties seek an order in advance of trial regarding the admissibility of certain documents including a statement by expert entitled “Statement on the human rights obligations related to climate change, with a particular focus on the right to life” - applicant averred that Court needed to be updated with up to date information about climate change - on 7th November, 2018, the respondents wrote to the solicitor for the applicant objecting to the late introduction of the material exhibited in the affidavit and protesting that the affidavit had been filed in the Central Office without leave of the court or without any court direction in this regard - consideration of experts statement - consideration of experts report - it is proper that the applicant be permitted to file an affidavit regardless of whether leave is strictly required in accordance with the provisions of O. 40, r. 19 - expert report not admitted - author of the report has not set out any particular expertise to entitle him to express a view on international or national law and that in any event, the legal principles applicable to the admission of such evidence, in Irish law, have not been complied with - report inadmissible.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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