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ClientEarth Communications

15th November 2019

Rule of law
Access to Justice for a Greener Europe

Webinar 3: Access to environmental information – How to tackle contentious exceptions

The webinar “Access to environmental information – how to tackle contentious exceptions” was held on December 5th 2019.
It was organised by ClientEarth within the EARL A2J project and intended for public interest lawyers, judges, public authorities and NGOs.

Watch the webinar 

Download the presentations

Presenters : Anne Friel & Sebastian Bechtel, “Environmental Democracy” Programme, ClientEarth

In this webinar, we discussed in detail the exceptions that EU institutions and national public authorities most often rely on to refuse access to environmental information, and equip participants with legal arguments to challenge refusals.

We dealt with the following specific exceptions, discussing what the law says, how this has been developed in the case law and providing case examples:

  • Refusal to disclose information on the basis of an ongoing internal decision-making procedure;
  • Refusal to disclose information on the basis of protecting commercial interests;
  • Refusal to disclose information on the basis of protecting the purpose of inspections, investigations and audits;
  • Exception to the exception: Information on emissions into the environment.

Watch the webinar 

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.