Access to Justice archive

  • Court of Justice confirms standing of individuals to challenge Nitrate Action Programmes

    The European Court of Justice confirmed that directly concerned individuals have the right to challenge inadequate Nitrate Action Programmes in their national courts

  • European Commission building

    EU Commission announces environmental legal action: our response

    EU Commission announces environmental legal action. ClientEarth lawyers react.

  • Access to Justice update from ClientEarth and Justice & Environment

    Find out more about recent case-law, reports from the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee and our project resources.

  • Poland and Bulgaria deny access to justice to citizens and NGOs fighting dirty air

    In Poland and Bulgaria, citizens and NGOs concerned about air pollution have been denied standing to bring a legal challenge.

  • Spanish Supreme Court rules that ENGOs receiving legal aid do not have to pay court costs

    In March 2019, the Spanish Supreme Court ruled in an unprecedented order that court costs should not be a barrier to access to justice for environmental NGOs.

  • Ruling on glyphosate renewal: the General Court divided over public authorities’ right of standing

    The General Court of the EU rejected a case brought by the Brussels region to challenge the Commission’s regulation renewing the authorisation of glyphosate.

  • States fail to remedy access to justice failures

    At the end of February, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee published its first set of “Progress Reviews”. These analyse to what extent Parties found to have breached the Convention have remedied those failures.

  • Legal rights of rivers – an international trend?

    On 30 January 2019, the High Court of Bangladesh recognized the river Turag as a living entity with legal rights and held that the same would apply to all rivers in Bangladesh. This monumental decision is the latest example of a trend towards according rights to nature.

  • Person kayaking on body of water

    United Nations criticises UK’s access to justice failure

    ClientEarth lawyers call on the UK to take access to justice seriously after a damning United Nations report outlines the UK’s failure to comply with its international legal obligations in allowing the public to bring legal cases to protect the environment.

  • Child in playground with smoke stack in background

    Lawyers report Bulgaria and Poland to EU Commission for blocking access to justice to ensure clean air

    ClientEarth has called on the European Commission to take action against Bulgaria and Poland for blocking people’s access to the courts to protect their right to breathe clean air.

  • ClientEarth launches European legal guide to protecting the environment

    ClientEarth lawyers have launched a guide to assist legal professionals and organisations in Europe take legal action to protect the environment.

  • Image shows lake and mountains

    A new force in China’s environmental public interest litigation

    We explore the rise in environmental public interest litigation in China

  • picture of a meadow

    EU court: national authorities must disapply national rules that are contrary to EU law

    The Court of Justice of the EU confirmed that national bodies that apply EU law in the exercise of their powers must be able to disapply conflicting provisions of national law.

  • landscape

    Cities as the new environmental watchdog in the EU?

    The CJEU held on 13 December that cities have standing to challenge acts of the Commission that affect their regulatory powers.

  • Underside of car engine

    Cities win challenge to protect people’s health against weakening of car emission limits

    The Court of Justice of the EU has today ordered the European Commission to reverse a decision that allowed car manufacturers to exceed emission limits during on-road tests.

  • swiss alps

    Access to justice update from ClientEarth and Justice and Environment

    Find out more about Austria latest access to justice developments, IIDMA’s appeal to the Spanish constitutional court and Via Iuris analysis on a Slovak regional court decision to stop a gold mining enterprise.

  • Pollution from an industry factory

    EU Parliament sets obstacles to collective action for victims of corporate harm

    Members of the European Parliament have voted today to weaken a proposal from the Commission on EU collective redress, undermining the possibility for European citizens to defend themselves against illegal actions by companies, lawyers say.

  • honey bee making nectar

    Article 9(3) of the Aarhus Convention remains a dead letter in the European Union legal order

    The Court of Justice of the EU has ruled that the Commission was right to reject a request for internal review from the NGO Mellifera regarding the authorisation of glyphosate.

  • Collective redress must be available for European victims of corporate harm

    It is time for Europeans to have the right to act collectively if they are the victim of industry abuse.

  • The Urgenda Climate Case and Access to Justice for environmental NGOs in the Netherlands

    On 9 October, the Hague Court of Appeal confirmed the District Court’s conclusion that the Netherlands must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% before 2020 to meet its obligations under national law.

  • green countryside

    Court of Justice of the EU condemns French court for failing to make preliminary reference

    For the first time in infringement proceedings, the CJEU has ruled that a national court, the French Conseil d’Etat, breached EU law for not making a preliminary reference regarding the interpretation of EU law in accordance with Article 267 TFEU.

  • pedestrian walking fence architecture

    Court of Justice decides that Irish courts must ensure that court costs are not prohibitive

    The Court of Justice of the EU has held that, in judicial procedures based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, national courts must interpret procedural law consistently with the requirement that proceedings must not be prohibitively expensive.

  • national assembly of bulgaria

    Campaigners challenge Bulgarian state over assault on access to justice

    New laws are part of an “alarming trend” towards the restriction of people’s environmental rights, say legal experts.

  • blurred bench

    Commission publishes Citizen’s guide to access to justice in environmental matters

    The European Commission has just published a guide to help citizens understand Access to Justice in environmental matters.