Aarhus Convention archive

  • Developments on Access to Justice in 2017: focus on Austria, Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia and Spain

    As 2018 has just begun let’s step back a little and see how the situation on access to justice in environmental matters developed last year, focussing on six (out of eight) European member states involved in the “Access to Justice for a greener Europe” project : Austria, Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia and Spain.

  • European Economic and Social Committee call for full implementation of access to justice obligations by Member States and the EU

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has issued an opinion on the Commission’s Communication on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. The Opinion makes a number of strong recommendations to the EU institutions and the Member States regarding the implementation of the access to justice pillar of the Aarhus Convention.

  • Empty chairs

    New legal complaint alleges Greek government failed to consult public over emissions

    The Greek government has breached an international agreement by denying the public their right to be informed of and participate in decisions concerning coal-fired power plants.

  • European Parliament calls on the Commission to propose legislation on Access to Justice in Member States and the EU

    On 15 November, the European Parliament adopted Resolution 2017/2819 calling on the Commission to ensure better implementation of EU nature laws by proposing legislation on access to justice in Member States and the EU.

  • ski resort

    Advocate General Sharpston gives opinion on Protect v Bezirkshauptamnnschaft Gmünd

    In this Opinion, Advocate General Sharpston provides several interesting insights into the relationship between Article 9(2) and (3) of the Aarhus Convention, and in particular the extent to which Article 9(3) can be relied on by environmental NGOs to participate in administrative procedures and challenge their outcome.

  • woodland

    Aarhus Convention Meeting of Parties refuses to adopt EU position and defers decision to 2021

    Following the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee’s findings that the EU is in breach of the access to justice provisions of the Aarhus Convention, the EU Council adopted a decision to merely “take note” of the findings, rather than endorse them,

  • nuclear power cooling towers

    The ACCC confirms public participation obligations regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant in a transboundary context

    The construction of nuclear power plants in a transboundary context require the government of the country of origin to ensure participation of the public concerned in its own territory as well as that of the neighbouring countries affected.

  • Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee confirms that access to courts to challenge wind turbine permits cannot be dependent only on distance

    The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee has ruled that access to courts to challenge wind turbine permits cannot be dependent only on the distance from the complainer’s property.

  • timber planks across grass

    EU abandons leadership on access to justice on international stage

    The EU’s proposal not to adopt the UN’s findings that it is breaching international law by blocking EU court access in environmental matters has been rejected.

  • Coal Power Plant

    ClientEarth challenges Greece’s untouchable coal power permits

    ClientEarth and WWF Greece have filed a complaint against the Greek state for violating an international agreement by effectively making it impossible to challenge unlawful permits for many of the country’s coal-fired power plants.

  • Studen Kladenets Dam, Bulgaria

    Bulgarian proposals threaten environmental access to justice

    A coalition supported by ClientEarth has called on the European Commission to protect access to justice in Bulgaria in the face of new proposals from the country’s ruling party.

  • Woman in yellow coat by red train for story saying New UN report is damning on UK environmental justice

    New UN report criticises UK environmental justice

    A new UN report has attacked the UK’s record on court access for people bringing environmental cases.

  • london walking

    New government rules on environmental cases “move financial goalposts”, court hears

    The UK government faced conservation and environmental groups in the High Court yesterday, after they challenged new rules that make it harder for people and charities to bring legal cases to protect the environment.

  • barcelona

    EU Council rebuff Commission in access to justice case

    The EU Council of Ministers has dismissed a proposal by the Commission to reject a UN committee’s finding that it is breaching international law.

  • detail of top of big greek pillars in sunlight

    Commission publishes guidance on access to justice for member states

    Environmental Democracy lawyer Anne analyses the Commission’s long-awaited guidance on access to justice in environmental matters.

  • Photo of man on park bench for story saying environmental justice case fast-tracked as UK government mounts attack on legal rights

    Court costs’ case fast-tracked as UK government mounts attack on legal rights

    A judge has fast-tracked ClientEarth, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB’s case over new environmental justice rules.

  • mountain climbers on grossglockner

    Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention rules EU in breach of Access to Justice

    The Compliance Committee has confirmed that the EU is breaching the access to justice provisions of the Aarhus Convention by preventing individuals and NGOs bringing cases in EU courts.

  • Green, blue and yellow light shining on windows of european court of justice

    UN rules EU is breaching law by blocking court access

    The European Union is breaching the law by stopping individuals and campaign groups taking environmental cases to court.

  • people sitting by water to illustrate story saying EU watchdog investigating European Investment Bank for maladministration

    EU watchdog investigating European Investment Bank for maladministration

    The European Investment Bank is being investigated for maladministration, after the European Ombudsman sent a formal letter opening the case this week following a complaint by ClientEarth, CEE Bankwatch Network and Counter Balance.

  • Government facing court over new environmental justice plans

    UK facing legal action over cost rules which deter citizens from court

    New rules coming into force today will make it virtually impossible to bring a public interest case to protect the environment, so ClientEarth, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB have started legal proceedings against the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.

  • image of European brown bear

    ClientEarth Environmental Democracy Update, Nov 16 – Jan 17

    This review covers information about how European institutions, member states and others are applying laws and regulations on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.

  • Court of Justice confirms NGO public participation and access to justice rights in the context of the Habitats Directive

    Environmentalists working to protect brown bears in Slovakia have been granted the right to defend the animals’ habitats in courts – an important development for environmental groups across the EU,

  • image of frost on thistles

    New UK rules make it harder to bring environmental court cases

    New rules in environmental court cases will have a chilling effect on the UK justice system, making it harder to bring cases like ClientEarth’s challenge to the UK government over cancer-causing air pollution.

  • Woman catching blossom for story saying UN committee finds the EU is violating access to justice law

    Draft findings of Compliance Committee – EU in violation of access to justice provisions of Aarhus Convention

    This document explains the decision of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, in which it said that the EU was in violation of the Convention for not providing access to the Court of Justice of the EU to members of the public.