Access to justice for a greener Europe archive
On 13 December 2017 the Administrative Court of Schleswig Holstein handed down judgment in a case on access to justice for NGOs decided under the newly amended Environmental Appeals Act 2017. Following the entry into force of the amendment in August last year, legal discussions on its scope continue.
Europeans should be able to bring environmental cases to court more easily in future, as ClientEarth and Justice and Environment have jointly launched the “Access to Justice for a greener Europe” (A2J EARL) project.
Vera Jourová, the European Commissioner for consumer affairs, announced that the Commission will publish a proposal for a directive on group actions for consumers, in order to improve access to justice. We hope it can also include provisions on access to justice in environmental matters.
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.
Let us reflect on what 2017 will be remembered for by the environmental lawyer community.
The challenge of challenging air quality programs in Poland – The Silesian air quality program and the issue of standing
In February 2016, a resident of the town of Rybnik located in the region of Silesia, Poland, demanded that the Silesian Regional Assembly amend the air quality program it had adopted in 2014 for the region of Silesia.
The European Court of Justice has confirmed the inadmissibility of Greenpeace Energy’s application for annulment of the Commission’s decision approving State aid for the nuclear power plant, Hinkley Point C.
On 11 July 2017, the Conseil d’État ordered the French government to produce plans to achieve air quality limit values in the shortest time possible.
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.
Members of the public still do not enjoy a uniform right of access to justice in environmental matters across Europe, despite positive developments at EU level.
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.
We invite you to subscribe to ClientEarth’s newsletter on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, produced in collaboration with Justice & Environment.
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.