Sebastian Bechtel archive

  • EU flags outside of the European Commission building in Brussels

    Class Actions for Europe: The Collective Redress Directive

    The European Parliament and the Council reached a final agreement on the text of the Collective Redress Directive. It provides a new legal avenue to enforce EU law intended to protect people and the planet.

  • No space for illegal development – CJEU clarifies EIA and SEA remedies

    A new Court of Justice judgement regarding the interpretation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive provides interesting clarifications as to the consequences if no SEA is carried out before the plan/programme is adopted.

  • Commission accepts access to justice complaints concerning Poland and Bulgaria

    The latest Commission infringement package brings some good news for access to justice.

  • The European Climate Law and Access to Justice

    In early March, just before the onset of the current COVID 19 crisis, the European Commission presented its proposal for a European Climate Law, a flagship initiative under the Green Deal.

  • Commission takes first step towards better NGO access to the European Court of Justice

    On 6 March, the European Commission published a Roadmap proposing an amendment of the Aarhus Regulation

  • Of Munich’s Air and Prisons: New Court of Justice Ruling on Effective Remedies

    Shortly before Christmas, the Court of Justice (CJEU) rendered judgement on a preliminary reference from the Higher Administrative Court of Bavaria.

  • Court of Justice upholds public notice requirements

    On 7 November 2019, the CJEU clarified the obligations of Member State authorities to notify local residents and NGOs of participation procedures and permitting decisions on major infrastructure projects

  • Court of Justice confirms standing of individuals to challenge Nitrate Action Programmes

    The European Court of Justice confirmed that directly concerned individuals have the right to challenge inadequate Nitrate Action Programmes in their national courts

  • Greek Council of State establishes new test for NGO standing in transboundary cases

    On 13 September 2019, the Greek Council of State rendered judgement in a case brought by NGOs against the renewal of the permit of coal-fired power plants Megalapoli A and B.

  • CJEU confirms that environmental impacts of life-time extensions must be assessed

    The CJEU has clarified that Member States authorities are obliged to conduct assessments under both the Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitats Directive when deciding to extend the operating time of polluting infrastructures.

  • New Aarhus draft findings: Life-time extensions of quarries require public participation

    On 3 July 2019, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee published its draft findings regarding an Irish communication on a decision to extend a quarry permit by 5 years.

  • EU Advocate General supports islanders’ plea for justice – If you could not have known, it does not count

    The Advocate General Kokott gave its opinion concerning the obligations of Member State authorities to notify local residents and NGOs of participation procedures and permitting decisions on major infrastructure projects.

  • New findings : Aarhus Convention applies to life-time extensions of major projects

    ACCC/C/2014/104 (Netherlands) : findings on a communication related to the timely extension of operation of Borssele nuclear power plant in the Netherlands.

  • Advocate General recommends CJEU to correct its Environmental Impact Assessment case law

    The CJEU published the Opinion of AG Kokott concerning a preliminary reference from the Belgian Constitutional Court about a life-time extension of two nuclear power plant reactors without prior environmental impact assessment.

  • New Aarhus findings: ACCC/C/2014/100 (UK) – Committee explains public participation requirements for plans/programmes

    Last week, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee has published its findings on communication ACCC/C/2014/100 (United Kingdom) concerning the controversial “High Speed 2” rail project from London to the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds.

  • Poland and Bulgaria deny access to justice to citizens and NGOs fighting dirty air

    In Poland and Bulgaria, citizens and NGOs concerned about air pollution have been denied standing to bring a legal challenge.

  • States fail to remedy access to justice failures

    At the end of February, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee published its first set of “Progress Reviews”. These analyse to what extent Parties found to have breached the Convention have remedied those failures.

  • Legal rights of rivers – an international trend?

    On 30 January 2019, the High Court of Bangladesh recognized the river Turag as a living entity with legal rights and held that the same would apply to all rivers in Bangladesh. This monumental decision is the latest example of a trend towards according rights to nature.

  • landscape

    Cities as the new environmental watchdog in the EU?

    The CJEU held on 13 December that cities have standing to challenge acts of the Commission that affect their regulatory powers.

  • The Battle for Collective Redress

    The European Parliament and Council are currently debating the fate of a directive proposal which would permit victims of corporate harm to bring a collective challenge to the courts.

  • Collective redress must be available for European victims of corporate harm

    It is time for Europeans to have the right to act collectively if they are the victim of industry abuse.

  • pedestrian walking fence architecture

    Court of Justice decides that Irish courts must ensure that court costs are not prohibitive

    The Court of Justice of the EU has held that, in judicial procedures based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, national courts must interpret procedural law consistently with the requirement that proceedings must not be prohibitively expensive.

  • What can the Aarhus region learn from the Escazú Agreement?

    At the end of September, the “Latin American Aarhus Convention” will open for signature.

  • Hearing in Luxembourg: Cities challenge Commission’s weakening of emission limits

    On 17 May 2018, Paris, Brussels and Madrid presented their oral pleadings at the EU General Court in Luxembourg in their challenge of Commission Regulation 2016/646 regarding emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles.