EU court rules Ireland cannot take UK nuclear plant dispute to UN Joe Shaulis at 2:46 PM ET
[JURIST] Ireland broke European law by asking the United Nations [official website] to arbitrate its claim against the United Kingdom in respect of the Sellafield nuclear power plant [BNG backgrounder; BBC backgrounder], an EU court ruled [press release, PDF] Tuesday. Ireland sought arbitration from a UN tribunal in 2001, claiming that the UK violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea [UN backgrounder and text] by failing to adequately protect marine life in the Irish Sea from plutonium discharged by the plant, which converts waste from nuclear reactors into new fuel. The European Court of Justice [official website] ruled, however, that it has exclusive jurisdiction [judgment text] over disputes between member states "concerning the interpretation or application of Community law."
The Irish government has repeatedly called for the Sellafield plant to be closed. Ireland is one of the few EU nations that does not produce nuclear power. The Guardian has more. BBC News has additional coverage.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.