Town Hall Meeting on the Planning and Development Bill 2023 and Proposed changes to Judicial Review (Online)

Calling all citizens, residents’ associations, community and environmental groups!

Join us to find out more about how changes to judicial review will impact you!

Community Law & Mediation invites you to an online Town Hall meeting on the Planning and Development Bill 2023 on Tuesday 6th February 7.30-8.30pm.

Hear from legal experts, resident’s associations and environmental groups on the proposed changes to judicial review (in Part 9 of the Bill), and the impact that they will have on how citizens, residents’ associations, community and environmental groups engage with the planning system and challenge planning decisions which affect their communities and the environment.

The Bill is currently progressing through the Oireachtas, with Committee Stage expected to commence in February.

We hope you can attend, and we look forward to hearing your views!

Agenda

  • Introduction: What is Part 9 of the Planning and Development Bill, and how does it impact you? Gavin Elliott, Environmental Justice Lawyer at Community Law & Mediation.

  • Residents’ associations and environmental groups: Why the judicial review process is important, experiences of taking a judicial review, and the impact of the proposed changes: Robin Mandal, Chairperson of the Dublin Democratic Planning Alliance. Mary O’Leary, Chairperson of Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment.

  • Conclusion: A call to action Rose Wall, CEO of Community Law & Mediation.

Please click here to register for this event.

We would be most grateful if you could share the below post, and others shared on social media in coming days with your networks.

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Who are we?

Community Law & Mediation is an independent community law centre and charity, working since 1975 with communities impacted by social exclusion, disadvantage and inequality, through the provision of free legal, mediation and education services.

In 2021, we opened the Centre for Environmental Justice, which works to ensure climate change and other environmental harms do not disproportionately affect those who have contributed least to the problem, and that the State’s response to environmental challenges addresses inequality and protects the rights of present and future generations.

Pilot scheme a welcome development for equality in education for students with visual impairments

Community Law & Mediation (CLM) welcomes the decision by the State Examinations Commission to commence a pilot scheme enabling visually-impaired students to access digital versions of their exam papers.

The decision was made on foot of a lengthy campaign by Eithne Walsh, head of advocacy and communication with Féach, whose son is a visually impaired student and is due to sit the Leaving Certificate in 2023.

Eithne and her son had repeatedly requested that he be provided with a digital copy of his Leaving Certificate examination – to date, only paper-based exams have been allowed – but their requests were refused by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). CLM provided legal advocacy support to the family, and wrote to the SEC highlighting the fact that that it was acting in breach of its statutory duty under s.6 and s.7 of the Education Act 1998 and that its refusal to provide reasonable accommodation was a breach of the student’s rights to equality, education, and his imprescriptible rights as a child.

While the announcement of a pilot scheme is really positive news, this addresses just one of the many obstacles faced by students with visual impairments. For example, they do not currently have the same level of access to past (modified) papers that their fellow students have; the format of the oral examinations is particularly challenging for students who are visually impaired;  and decisions made under the Reasonable Accommodations at Certificate Examinations (RACE) Scheme are often published at short notice, leaving the students affected with little time to appeal if they do not get the supports they need under the Scheme.

Community Law & Mediation will continue to advocate on behalf of families and young people who are affected by issues such as these.

If you have a query related to the education rights of your child, contact us for free legal advice: 01 847 7804.

Launch of new guides to taking Employment Equality and Equal Status cases

On Wednesday 5th May 2021, we launched two new guides to taking Employment Equality and Equal Status cases. We were delighted to be joined by Roderic O`Gorman TD, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and a panel of speakers including Suzy Byrne of the National Advocacy Service; Reuben Hambakachere of Cultur Migrants Centre; Eileen Flynn, Senator and activist on behalf of members of the Traveller community; and Jane O`Sullivan, Managing Solicitor at CLM, specialising in Employment & Equality law.

If you missed it, you can watch the event back here! or access the guides here