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ClientEarth Communications

28 October 2020


Webinar: “Access to Justice and the Preliminary Reference Procedure”

October 29th 2020, 11:30 – 13:00 pm Brussels time (10.30 am – 12.00 pm London time)

This webinar focuses on the important role that the preliminary reference procedure (Article 267 TFEU) plays within the EU legal framework on access to justice.

This webinar is part of ClientEarth’s European project on access to justice, funded by the European Commission Life Programme and is intended for public interest lawyers, judges, public authorities and NGOs.

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Download the presentations


  • Anne Friel, Environmental Democracy lead, ClientEarth
  • Leonor Caldeira, EU Litigation Lawyer, ClientEarth
  • Fred Logue, Principal, FP Logue Solicitors


Introduction :the role of the preliminary reference procedure in “access to justice”

  • Enforcing the Aarhus Convention in Member States in the absence of a directive on access to justice;
  • Challenging acts of the EU institutions: validity references

Presentation 1: The preliminary references procedure – What it is and how it works?

  • The EU legal framework: Article 267 TFEU and relevant case law
  • The role of national courts
  • CJEU reference judgements and their legal value
  • Preliminary reference statistics and what they tell us.

Presentation 2: The preliminary reference procedure from a practitioner’s perspective

  • Fred Logue, Principal of Fred Logue Solicitors, will provide an insight into two preliminary reference procedures in which he acted for environmental organisations.”

Questions from participants.

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.