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ClientEarth Communications

23rd September 2019


Webinar : “Challenging activities that harm the environment : article 9.2 of the Aarhus Convention”

The webinar “Challenging activities that harm the environment : article 9.2 of the Aarhus Convention ”was held on 17 October 2019.

You can now watch it here or download the presentation here.

It is intended for public interest lawyers, judges, public authorities and NGOs and organised by ClientEarth within the EARL A2J project (Access to Justice – Education and Awareness raising of Legal professionals).

This project is funded by the European Commission LIFE programme.

Speakers : Dirk Teßmer, lawyer at Philipp-Gerlach and Teßmer ; Anne Friel & Sebastian Bechtel, lawyers for the “Environmental Democracy” Programme, ClientEarth


Presentation 1: The right to go to court  – Anne Friel
1. The concept & idea of the right to challenge activities preceded by public participation
2. Article 9.2 of the Aarhus Convention
3. Implementation in EU law – 6(1)(a)
4. Case law extension based on Article 6(1)(b)
5. Resulting obligation to interpret consistently & set aside standing rules

Presentation 2: Rights when in court  – Sebastian Bechtel
1. Article 9(4) & 9(5), Article 47 of the Charter, principle of effectiveness
2. Scope of review
3. Standard of review
4. Injunctive relief
5. Remedies
6. Costs

Presentation 3: Practice example: Halting coal mine expansion at Hambach forest – [RA] Dirk Teßmer
1. Situation and legal background of the lignite-mining site and the forest of Hambach
2. Legal approaches by the BUND (Friends of the Earth) since 1996 and restrictions on access to adjudication
3. Factual and legal background of the pending cases


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.