European Union Case Law on the Birds and Habitats Directives



By Liam Cashman, Nina Claudia Miron

ISBN: 9789403525570
Last Updated: 2023-12-12

About this book:

European Union Case Law on the Birds and Habitats Directives is a comprehensive book focusing on the EU’s core legislation on nature, the Birds and Habitats Directives, and furnishing a detailed summary and analysis of the two directives as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Despite the remarkable scope of EU conservation policy, and notwithstanding 30 years of relevant case law, nature in the EU continues to decline.

What’s in this book:

The book’s systematic structure provides the crucial details of a large body of cases the Court has decided following legal actions taken by the European Commission or preliminary references submitted by national courts. It enables a clear procedural understanding of how nature cases are brought before the Court and how the Court approaches matters such as the burden of proof and the entitlement of environmental associations to litigate disputes. Among the salient areas of analysis are the following:

the requirements for including sites within Natura 2000, the largest network of protected nature areas in the world;
the obligations to conserve Natura 2000 sites and protect them from damage, including through procedural and substantive requirements to assess the impact of plans and projects;
requirements concerning unlawful or illegal activities;
the strict protection requirements that apply to wild birds and other species, together with related derogation provisions;
requirements to protect habitats in the wider countryside and interlinkages between the nature directives and directives on impact assessment, water, and environmental liability;
challenges addressed or influenced by the Court, such as defects in Member State transposition, problems of monitoring and enforcing compliance, and dealing with harmful and benign subsidies;
procedures used to bring cases to the Court, including direct actions by the Commission and preliminary references from national courts.

How this will help you:

According to the 2020 Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum, biodiversity loss will be one of humanity’s biggest threats in the next 10 years. If nature is to have any hope of recovering and prospering, strict application of existing nature conservation rules is of utmost importance, especially as a recent evaluation shows that, although the EU nature directives are fit for purpose, implementation on the ground is lagging. By setting out the case law systematically and explaining what compliance with specific requirements entails, this book makes a remarkable contribution to nature conservation practice. Lawyers, policymakers, and NGOs working in the domain of nature conservation will significantly benefit from it.

Table Of Contents






Formal Recognition of Natura 2000 Sites


Protection of Natura 2000 Sites


Protection of Species


Protection of Natural Areas Outside of Natura 2000 and Species Protection Areas, and Surveillance of Conservation Status


Mixed or Related Case-Law


Challenges Addressed or Influenced by the Court


Procedures for Applying to the CJEU, and Access to Justice


Table of Cases



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