With the long-awaited Maritime Area and Foreshore (Amendment) Bill
promised to come before the Oireachtas this year, to what extent does
the draft Bill provide a legal regime that encourages the growth of
Irish offshore renewables and the protection of our coastal environment?
This paper offers a critical commentary on the draft Bill as it relates
to marine renewable developments on three specific grounds: 1. that the
proposed Irish consent process in the Bill does not match the
widely-respected Scottish streamlined consent procedures; 2. that the
innovation of maritime options in the Bill is open to challenge on
administrative law grounds and is likely to generate uncertainty; 3.
that the Bill would benefit from inclusion of adaptive management
principles following New Zealand's experience, where adaptive management
is enshrined in basic legislation.