Ireland’s economy is less dependent on farming than it used to be, but agriculture still has the capacity to provoke major litigation. The questions in Brady v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are (a) whether pig slurry constitutes “waste” under European law and (b) whether the EPA’s conditions on a farmer’s sales of pig slurry are lawful. The High Court judge—remarking in passing that 10,000 pigs produce more effluent than 10,000 humans—concluded that pig slurry is indeed waste and upheld the EPA’s licensing decision. The Supreme Court’s five most senior judges—Murray C.J., Denham, Hardiman, Fennelly & Macken JJ.—will hear the farmer’s appeal on Wednesday.
On Tuesday morning, the same five judges will resume the hearing in Bradley v. Independent Star Newspapers, a defamation appeal that was initially set for hearing last week, and about which you can read in last week’s preview.
My ability to preview the remaining cases this week in the Supreme Court is hampered by a paucity of publicly-available information. On Tuesday, the same five judges hearing Brady and Bradley will consider the appeal in Goodwin v. Bus Eireann, a personal injuries case. On Thursday and Friday, the remaining three judges of the Court (Finnegan, O’Donnell & McKechnie JJ.) will hear three cases—R v. R, Flavin v. Nagle, and DPP v. Wilson. The appeal number in Wilson is from 2011, suggesting that the Court is moving fast to resolve some issue of importance to the administration of criminal justice.