Language of document :

Reference for a preliminary ruling from the Supreme Court (Ireland) made on 3 April 2017 – Volkmar Klohn v An Bord Pleanála

(Case C-167/17)

Language of the case: English

Referring court

Supreme Court

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Volkmar Klohn

Defendant: An Bord Pleanála

Question referred

Can the “not prohibitively expensive” provisions of Art. 10a of the Public Participation Directive potentially have any application in a case such as the instant case where the development consent challenged in the proceedings was granted prior to the latest date for transposition of that directive and where the proceedings challenging the relevant development consent were also commenced prior to that date? If so have the “not prohibitively expensive” provisions of the Public Participation Directive potential application to all costs incurred in the proceedings or only to costs incurred after the latest date for transposition?

Is a national court which enjoys a discretion concerning the award of costs against an unsuccessful party, in the absence of any specific measure having been adopted by the member state in question for the purposes of transposing Art. 10a of the Public Participation Directive, obliged, when considering an order for costs in proceedings to which that provision applies, to ensure that any order made does not render the proceedings “prohibitively expensive” either because the relevant provisions are directly effective or because the court of the member state concerned is required to interpret its national procedural law in a manner, to the fullest extent possible, which fulfils the objectives of Article 10a?

Where an order for costs is unqualified and would, by virtue of the absence of any appeal, be regarded as final and conclusive as a matter of national law, does Union law require that either

a Taxing Master charged in accordance with national law with the task of quantifying the amount of costs reasonably incurred by the successful party; or

a court asked to review a decision of such a Taxing Master nonetheless have an obligation to depart from otherwise applicable measures of national law and determine the amount of costs to be awarded in such a way as ensures that the costs so awarded do not render the proceedings prohibitively expensive?