We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Diploma in Environmental and Planning Law

Start Date
Thursday 26 October 2023 at 6:00 PM
Three-hour closed-book written examination (90%) and continuous assessment through online activities (10%)
Delivery Method
Online lectures Tuesdays, 6.00pm to 9.00pm and four interactive workshops online. Lectures available to view on demand.
CPD Hours
The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions.  For further information and the CPD booklet, see CPD scheme.
Course Leader
Megan Murphy Byrne, Solicitor, Course Leader: m.murphybyrne@lawsociety.ie
This item is not available to book online

Short video testimonial

Application information

The closing date for applications for this course is 12 October 2023. To apply please follow the instructions below.

Solicitors and Trainees

To pay online click on the 'Book Now' button. For all other methods of payment including, draft, cheque and EFT please see our methods of payment .

Other Professionals

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified professionals. Your application must be approved before you can formally register on the course. To apply please email the following documents to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie :

  1. A completed application form (see below)
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae
  3. A short cover letter setting out your relevant experience

Please note, for non-members this course is subject to a supplemental fee of €335 bringing the total course fee to €2,995. No fees are required prior to approval.


Further information on this course including course structure, module scheme, faculty and workshop dates are set out below. Clicking on the links will bring you directly to that section or simply scroll through to read all the content. 

If you are interested in applying for a future offering of the course please register for our Interested List . 

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the overall structure of environmental and planning law in Ireland and the role of the organisations entrusted with overseeing the implementation of same;
  • Describe specific areas of environmental law such as waste management law, climate change, and air and noise pollution;
  • Explain the planning application procedure, the determination of a planning application and the appeals process, and the impact that environmental law has on planning;
  • Illustrate the legislative framework and regulation of planning law in Ireland;
  • Analyse litigation in the area in light of recent judicial decisions,
  • Understand the issues pertaining to climate change and international obligations relating to same.

Programme structure and approach to learning

This diploma course aims to provide a comprehensive practical overview of the current legislative framework in the environmental and planning realms. The overall objective is to assist practitioners in determining what planning and environmental legislation applies and what the exposure is for clients arising from this. 

This course will examine topical issues including environmental problems, the interplay with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), planning control, developments in waste law, recent European law and Irish legislation, recent case law, issues of environmental liability in insolvency, enforcement, trans-boundary environmental issues, the impact of environmental law on planning, and the nature of development. It also examines the topical issue of climate change.


The programme is based on the following modular scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: Environmental law, the overall structure and recent developments

  • Overall structure and recent developments in environmental law,
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
  • Role of the local authority; Irish Water – an overview; green energy and climate change,
  • Environmental enforcement.

Module 2: The legislative framework and regulation of planning law in Ireland 

  • Planning law in Ireland,
  • Planning applications,
  • Environmental impact assessments,
  • Impact of environmental law on planning.

Module 3: Litigation and interface of environmental law and planning

  • Environmental issues in corporate and property transactions,
  • Judicial reviews of An Bord Pleanála and EPA,
  • Environmental liability – criminal and civil liability,
  • Environmental directive and transposing directive.

Module 4: Climate change

  • International obligations,
  • Climate legislation/regulation,
  • Climate change litigation.


Workshops are interactive sessions that focus on group problem-solving and are designed to revise all modules covered to date and to consolidate the participant’s knowledge.

1Key emphasis on the application of environmental law to common scenarios encountered in practiceTBC6:00pm - 8:00pm
2Key emphasis on the application of planning law to common scenarios encountered in  practiceTBC6:00pm - 8:00pm
3Key emphasis on litigation in relation to environmental law and planningTBC6:00pm - 8:00pm
4Examination PreparationTBC6:00pm - 8:00pm


Three-hour closed-book written examination.  Exam date: TBC

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for the following:

  • Public sector, private sector and in-house solicitors working in the areas of conveyancing and planning and environmental law,
  • Trainee solicitors and students seeking to expand their knowledge of environmental law,
  • Barristers who practice in the area of environmental law,
  • Civil servants and those working within a local authority in environmental and planning departments, and
  • Other suitably qualified professionals, such as environmental agents and town planners who have an interest in environmental law.

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €335.


Lecturers and tutors will be drawn from solicitors, barristers and other professionals with expertise in environmental and planning law. 

Previous lecturers have included the following:

  • Alison Fanagan, A&L Goodbody,
  • Elva Carbery, Legal Consultant,
  • Tom Flynn BL,
  • Michelle Linnane, Moran and Ryan,
  • Rachel Minch, Philip Lee,
  • Jason Milne, A&L Goodbody,
  • Stephen Proctor, McCann Fitzgerald,
  • Noreen Kavanagh, Matheson,
  • Dr Áine Ryall, University College Cork,
  • Thomas Freeman BL,
  • Brendan Slattery, McCann Fitzgerald,
  • Justice Garrett Simons, High Court Judge,
  • Finola McCarthy, Ronan Daly Jermyn,
  • Deirdre Nagle, Mason Hayes & Curran.


We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information, visit the CPD scheme and download the CPD booklet.

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2023. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year. 


Megan Murphy Byrne, Solicitor, Course Leader: m.murphybyrne@lawsociety.ie .

*Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in these pages is accurate and up to date. However timetables and course content are subject to change and date and time changes may occur due to factors beyond our control.

Back to top

This item is not available to book online