28 February 2018
From Ivana Figuli, Via Iuris part of Justice and Environment network, Slovakia
Slovakian organisation Via Iuris held its first national workshop about access to justice in environmental matters on February 22nd in Bratislava. An opportunity to raise local barriers and debate with professionals.
Fourteen people attended this meeting, which brought together the most relevant professionals on access to justice in the country.
Recognized expert on environmental law, the Supreme Court’s judge Miroslav Gavalec attended the workshop along with Supreme Court judge Marián Trenčan.
Professor Soňa Košičiarová, academic expert in the field and author of numerous publications and handbooks also participated together with representatives from ministries and practicing lawyers.
This workshop was an opportunity for Via Iuris to present the A2J EARL project and get feedbacks from the attendees.
Via Iuris brought to the forum series of issues considered as being problematic for an effective access to justice for the public in environmental matters.
Experts around the table expressed their opinions on whether they perceive the same problems or if they identified some other issues to be analysed and to address in practice.
The debate focused on the New Code of Administrative Court Procedure and newly introduced concept of "interested public" and obstacles this new norm could bring for effective access to Justice in environmental affairs for interested public and other parties to proceedings.
Participants expressed their willingness to receive information on legal news in this topic and be involved in further debates and activities of the project.
This meeting was organised in the framework of the A2J EARL project, funded by the European Commission LIFE programme.
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.