European Energy and Environmental Law Review

Volume 27 (2018)

Volume 27 (2018) / Issue 3

Yaffa Epstein, Guillaume Chapron, 'The Hunting of Strictly Protected Species: The Tapiola Case and the Limits of Derogation under Article 16 of the Habitats Directive' (2018) 27 European Energy and Environmental Law Review, Issue 3, pp. 78–87


Whether or under what circumstances the hunting of species listed as strictly protected in the Habitats Directive's Annex IV can be allowed has been the subject of extensive controversy and litigation in several Member States. Finland has asked the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on several questions, the answers to which will have wide-reaching consequences for how species are protected in the EU. This article addresses these questions, in particular the permissibility of the management hunting of strictly protected species, the permissibility of allowing hunting with the goal of preventing poaching, and at what scale the "favourable conservation status" of species populations should be considered. It argues that exploitive hunting of strictly protected species is not consistent with the purpose of the Habitats Directive, that hunting for the purpose of preventing poaching cannot be considered a conserva- tion measure under the Habitats Directive, and that species' conservation status should be considered unfavourable for the purposes of derogation if it is unfavourable at the local population level, the Member State level, or the EU level. It concludes by discussing the consequences of this analysis for hunting in the EU more broadly.

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ISSN: 0966-1646
ID: EELR2018009