Advanced Diploma in Planning and Environmental Law

Last Updated: Monday, September 27, 2021


This course provides participants with a comprehensive practical knowledge of Planning and Environmental Law, which will be relevant to professionals who are involved in advising on planning and strategic infrastructure applications, enforcement issues, development plans and strategic planning, waste management and climate resilience and adaptation.


This Diploma provides participants with a comprehensive practical knowledge of Planning and Environmental Law. 

On completion of the course, you will be better able to:

  • Explain and apply relevant statutory, common law and other provisions; 
  • Use relevant legal terminology competently and correctly; 
  • Apply appropriate legal principles to a range of factual scenarios;
  • Solve problems within this area of law; 
  • Communicate legal arguments based on relevant legal principles; 
  • Conduct legal research independently and in groups; 
  • Evaluate, criticise and defend legal arguments on matters of planning and environmental law.


The course is suitable for: planners; engineers; architects; construction managers; An Bord Pleanála inspectors; those working with NGOs; local authority professionals; consultants; barristers and solicitors in general practice who would like to diversify into the area of planning and environmental law; and anyone working in the planning and environmental area.


The coordinator of the course is Dr David Browne BL.


This course will be delivered in an online format only, live via Zoom, with recordings of lectures available after class is over. Interactive elements such as class discussions / tutorials will not be recorded and will be cast live only. There will be no attendance in person at King’s Inns for class, though we hope to be able to host an event for students later in the course, public health regulations permitting.

Delivery is in part–time mode through the medium of lectures and seminars, presented by leading experts in the area. The course will take place over approx. 22 weeks with lectures on Thursdays from 8.30 am to 10.00 am during the academic term.

Course Start Date: Thursday, 21 October 2021 (new start date)

Classes are recorded using e–learning software and made available to students for streaming via our Virtual Learning Environment. This means that, while all students are welcome to attend class live, most of the sessions will be recorded so that students who are unable to attend can catch up on the material by streaming the video in their own time.

All class notes are available online before lectures take place. Online tutorials and IT support are available to help students navigate their way through our Library and legal resource databases.

Please note the course content is subject to change.

Course Content

  • Introduction to the Course
  • Two live online tutorials, one before Christmas and one toward the end of the course
  • Introduction to Planning and Environmental Law
  • Development Plans
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Meaning of “Development”
  • Planning Applications
  • Grant of Planning Permission
  • Planning Compensation
  • Compulsory Acquisition
  • Planning Appeals
  • Strategic Development
  • Planning Enforcement
  • Judicial Review I
  • Judicial Review II
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Nature Conservation
  • Substitute Consent
  • Aarhus Convention
  • Water Management
  • Waste Management
  • Environmental Crime
  • Climate Change and Emissions
  • A View from the Bench (judicial speaker)

Previous Speakers

  • Alice Whittaker, Philip Lee
  • Alison Fanagan, A&L Goodbody
  • Aoife Carroll BL
  • Brendan Slattery, McCann Fitzgerald
  • Brian Foley SC
  • Conor Linehan, William Fry
  • Danielle Conaghan, Arthur Cox
  • David Browne BL
  • Deborah Spence, Arthur Cox
  • Dermot Flanagan SC
  • Eamon Galligan SC
  • Esmonde Keane SC
  • Fintan Valentine BL
  • James Connolly SC
  • Niall Handy BL
  • Nuala Butler SC
  • Jarlath Fitzsimons SC
  • Oisin Collins BL
  • Rachel Minch, Philip Lee
  • Rory Mulcahy SC
  • Shane Murphy SC
  • Suzanne Murray BL
  • Tom Flynn BL
  • Prof. Yvonne Scannell, TCD/Arthur Cox


This is a professional development course. It is awarded independently by The Honorable Society of King’s Inns and delivered by seasoned, highly experienced practitioners. To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant is required to successfully complete two written assessments.

Provisional assessment schedules: Assignment 1 will be released at the end of term one and assignment 2 will be released closer to the end of term 2.

COURSE FEE 2021–2022

Course fee: €2,850. View fee structure and other charges here.

Barrister–at–Law graduates who are subscribing members to King’s Inns receive a 10% discount on this course. View more information here.


There are no admission requirements for this course. 

Application Deadline: Extended to midnight on Friday, 8 October 2021

In order to verify your personal details, you must first create an account on the Application Portal through the ‘apply here’ button below. Once you verify your email address in the Portal, you can then proceed with your application. 

The process is very short and your place on the course will not be secured until payment is received in full. Payment can be made through the application portal using your credit or debit card. An automated payment receipt will be generated confirming your place on the course.

If your employer is paying for your studies, you will require a PO number, the name and email address for the person responsible for payment in your organisation. The invoice will issue directly to the person whose details you enter. You will also be able to download a copy of the invoice through the application portal. 

Register and apply here

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Paula Redmond

“The Advanced Diploma in Planning and Environmental Law is invaluable to anybody working in the planning sector or dealing with planning related issues. The lecturers are knowledgeable, thoroughly experienced and willing to answer any questions or queries. Every module was highly informative with detailed notes and the convenient option to attend lectures in person or online. The course gives participants a sound knowledge of relevant statute and case law, including new developments in both legislation and the Courts. The course coordinator and supporting staff are helpful and professional.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Paula Redmond, Civil Engineer/Planning Consultant

Kieran O’Connor

“Over the past number of years in Ireland, the Irish Legal System has witnessed an increase in complex ligation cases, challenges to planning decisions and judicial reviews all pertaining to Environmental Law. This course provides a great insight into the complexity of these issues and how careful one must be when navigating through the Irish Planning Process. For me, the course provided me with a better understanding of the most recent Irish and European Environmental Law that could potential affect planning decisions (e.g Habitats Directive), and how I should approach planning applications for the industry I currently work in.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Kieran O’Connor, Environmental and Regulatory Adviser (Oil and Gas)