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ClientEarth Communications

21st February 2020


POSTPONED: EU-wide conference on access to justice in environmental matters

Important update : Due to the Covid-19 crisis, our EU-wide conference on Access to justice in environmental matters  scheduled on May 13th 2020 is postponed. We will let you know as soon as we have a new date for it. Thank you for your understanding. Stay safe!

EU environmental law, despite being one of the most comprehensive in the world, is still not properly implemented and enforced. As a result, Europe's environment is rapidly deteriorating.

This lack of implementation is both an environmental and a socio-economic problem. Estimates put the cost of poor implementation of EU environmental laws at around €50 billion a year. It also erodes the rule of law and public trust in national authorities and the EU.

Citizens and NGOs have a crucial role to play to close this implementation gap. To do so, they must be allowed to challenge lawbreaking in Court. This right is enshrined in the Aarhus Convention, which the EU, along with all its Member States, signed in 1998.

More than twenty years after the signature of this international convention, what is the access to justice situation in Europe?

To reflect on this matter, ClientEarth has the pleasure to invite you to its conference:

“Access to justice in environmental matters: obstacles, impacts and ways forward”

13 May 2020.

This conference will be an opportunity to hear from professionals dealing with the issue from varied perspectives including lawyers, NGOs, national and EU judges as well as officials from the European Commission. The discussion should enable us to learn, share experience, best practices and hurdles on access to justice, and discuss possible ways to overcome them. We will also focus on examples of some notorious cases for the protection of biodiversity and the fight against climate change.

This event will nicely close our three-year project funded by the European Commission LIFE programme. This project was carried out with Justice & Environment in nine countries, aiming to raise legal professionals’ awareness about access to justice in environmental matters.

If you want to attend this free conference, please send an email with your contact details and the name of your organisation to

More information will follow shortly, so keep in touch,

Best Regards,

Anaïs Berthier
Head of Environmental Democracy

The project

Access to Justice is a fundamental means through which citizens and NGOs can support the implementation and enforcement of laws and policies to protect the environment. The goal of this ATOJ-EARL project is to achieve “Access to Justice for a Greener Europe”. It strives to enhance access to justice in environmental matters by providing information, training and support for the judiciary, public authorities and lawyers of eight European member states. ClientEarth and Justice and Environment are implementing this project with the financial support of the European Commission’s LIFE instrument.