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Lawyers at environment charity ClientEarth have launched a new edition of a guide to assist legal professionals and organisations in Europe to take legal action to protect the environment.
The goal of ClientEarth’s legal guide “Access to justice in European Union Law” is to help tackle the poor implementation of EU environmental policies and regulation – which is costing the bloc an estimated €55 billion a year.
This guide provides an overview of the EU-level legal framework, which allows members of the public to challenge violations of environmental law in court.
Access to justice in environmental matters is a fundamental right guaranteed by international treaty the Aarhus Convention, ratified by the EU and its member states with the goal of improving environmental democracy.
Several pieces of EU legislation and the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU provide for access to justice to a certain extent but are not applied and respected consistently throughout the Union.
ClientEarth’s Access to justice in European Union law guide is part of the ATOJ-EARL (Access to Justice – Education and Awareness-Raising of Legal Professionals) project on improving , which is led by ClientEarth and environmental network Justice and Environment, with the support of the European Commission’s LIFE programme. The goal of this project is to raise awareness and train legal professionals on access to justice in eight EU member states.