Democracy is vital to protecting our health and the environment. Without it, individuals are unable to make informed consumer and political choices and hold decision-makers to account. Our work on the Aarhus Convention helps individuals do just that by ensuring wide access to environmental information and the ability to participate in and challenge decisions. With these tools, citizens can change the policies and corporate practices that are harming our environment and health.
Anne Friel, Lawyer, European Union Aarhus Centre, Environmental Lawyers ClientEarth

Anne Friel

Lawyer, Environmental Democracy

Anne Friel joined ClientEarth’s Brussels office in February 2015.

Her work focuses on enforcing access to information and justice rights at EU level. Anne previously practiced EU competition, trade and public procurement law in the Brussels offices of White & Case and Philip Lee Solicitors until 2011, when she joined the European think tank, Migration Policy Group, to work on responsible public procurement.

Anne has a first class degree in Scots law from the University of Glasgow and a masters in EU law from the College of Europe in Bruges. She qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 2008 (not currently practising as a solicitor).

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Latest from Anne Friel:

  • green countryside

    Court of Justice of the EU condemns French court for failing to make preliminary reference

    For the first time in infringement proceedings, the CJEU has ruled that a national court, the French Conseil d’Etat, breached EU law for not making a preliminary reference regarding the interpretation of EU law in accordance with Article 267 TFEU.

  • The sea coast

    People’s climate case highlights lack of access to the EU courts

    Thirty-six individuals and one youth organisation have filed an application for annulment with the EU’s General Court claiming that EU legislation on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is unlawful because it fails to prevent climate change.

  • EU Ombudsman’s decision reinforces lack of access to justice in State aid matters

    In a disappointing decision, the EU Ombudsman has confirmed the EU Commission’s interpretation of the State aid rules that only competitors can have the status of “an interested party”.

  • CJEU decides that letter from ECHA to the French government is a legal act capable of judicial review

    The General Court has annulled a decision regarding Esso Raffinage’s non-compliance with the EU chemicals regulation registration obligations.

  • New EU directive proposal on collective redress for consumers lacks environmental dimension

    The European Commission has published a proposal for a new directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers.

  • CJEU decision on justice costs could threaten access to justice

    The CJEU recently adopted a disappointing interpretation of the rule that judicial procedures should not be prohibitively expensive in Article 11(4) EIA Directive.

  • Commission report highlights lack of EU commitment towards ensuring collective redress for environmental protection

    The Commission has just published a report on the uptake by member states of its Recommendation on Collective Redress.

  • European Economic and Social Committee call for full implementation of access to justice obligations by Member States and the EU

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has issued an opinion on the Commission’s Communication on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. The Opinion makes a number of strong recommendations to the EU institutions and the Member States regarding the implementation of the access to justice pillar of the Aarhus Convention.

  • European Parliament calls on the Commission to propose legislation on Access to Justice in Member States and the EU

    On 15 November, the European Parliament adopted Resolution 2017/2819 calling on the Commission to ensure better implementation of EU nature laws by proposing legislation on access to justice in Member States and the EU.

  • detail of top of big greek pillars in sunlight

    Commission publishes guidance on access to justice for member states

    Environmental Democracy lawyer Anne analyses the Commission’s long-awaited guidance on access to justice in environmental matters.

  • clouds-from-above

    EU Ombudsman opens inquiry into Council transparency when discussing draft EU legislation

    The Ombudsman’s letter to the Council demonstrates a structured approach to the question of institutional transparency and demands answers to some significant questions on the Council’s current practice.

  • mountain climbers on grossglockner

    Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention rules EU in breach of Access to Justice

    The Compliance Committee has confirmed that the EU is breaching the access to justice provisions of the Aarhus Convention by preventing individuals and NGOs bringing cases in EU courts.

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