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ClientEarth Communications

23rd June 2020

Access to Justice update from ClientEarth and Justice&Environment

Our analysis

The European Climate Law and Access to Justice
In early March, just before the onset of the current COVID 19 crisis, the European Commission presented its proposal for a European Climate Law, a flagship initiative under the Green Deal. At the heart of the proposal is the legally binding commitment to reach climate neutrality by 2050...

Read the analysis by Sebastian Bechtel

Commission accepts access to justice complaint concerning Poland and Bulgaria
A bit over one year ago, we wrote about two Commission complaints about the failure by the Polish and the Bulgarian courts to give standing to individuals and NGOs to challenge air quality plans. On 14 May, the Commission informed us that they had sent a letter of formal notice to both the Polish and the Bulgarian governments based on our complaint. Both governments have now four months to remedy the situation.

Read the analysis by Sebastian Bechtel

Advocate General: Habitats Directive screening applies to temporal extensions of construction permits
This opinion from Advocate General Kokott considers whether an extension of the duration of a construction permit triggers the appropriate assessment obligations in Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive (91/43). It also deals with important questions regarding the standard of review that must be applied by national courts when reviewing permitting decisions, as well as their obligation to interpret national law in conformity with EU law.

Read the analysis by Anne Friel

Court of Justice ensures standing for individuals to challenge breaches of the Water Framework Directive
The Court confirmed that individuals who are “directly concerned ” by a decision that breaches Article 4 of the Water framework directive by virtue of the fact that they “legitimately use” the body of water in question, must have standing to challenge that decision.

Read the analysis by Anne Friel

Our events

Sign up to our webinar “Enforcing the Industrial Emissions Directive in national courts”!
Our webinar will be held on June 25th 2020, 12:30 – 13:30 pm Brussels time (11.30 am – 12.30 pm London time). This webinar provides an overview of the legal framework that applies to individuals and NGOs seeking to enforce the Industrial Emissions Directive in national courts. It will focus in particular on litigation directed at coal-fired power plants, with a case example from Bulgaria.

Sign up

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.

Anais Berthier, Senior Lawyer and Project Lead
Diane Vandesmet, Events and Communications Officer