27 September 2020
Employees of the Local Government Appeal Boards and Maritime Office took part in the fifth training organised within the framework of the "Access to justice for a Greener Europe" project. It took place on 17 September in Szczecin.
Speakers (Małgorzata Kwiędacz-Palosz, ClientEarth lawyer, Prof. Anna Barczak - Head of the Department of Environmental Protection Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Szczecin and Magdalena Bar from Jendrośka Jerzmański Bar i Wspólnicy Law Firm) discussed access to justice in environmental matters in the Aarhus Convention, European law and national regulations.
The workshop was accompanied by discussions on improving the effectiveness of the application of EU law by courts and administrative bodies of the Member States. It was pointed out that the Commission Notice on access to justice in environmental matters, which provides assistance to Member States, national courts, legal practitioners and the public, can play a significant role in this area.
In addition, the issue of access to review procedures for decisions requiring public participation has been the subject of lively debate. The discussion focused on the issues of the scope of judicial and institutional control, the case law indicating that the administrative court does not make a substantive assessment of the report on the impact of a given project on the environment.
Participants shared their experience in this area by emphasizing the issues related to the appointment of experts.
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.