Access to justice in environmental matters is a right guaranteed by the international Aarhus Convention, ratified by the EU and its member states with the goal of improving environmental democracy.
Several pieces of EU legislation and the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU provide for access to justice to a certain extent but are unequally applied and respected throughout the Union.
ClientEarth environmental democracy lawyer Anaïs Berthier said: “This practical guide is unique as it collates the case law of the EU courts detailing how members of public must have access to courts as well as the findings of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee interpreting the relevant provisions of the Aarhus Convention. It is the only document that captures both sources of interpretation of these rights. The guide is meant to ensure that all the relevant stakeholders – judges, public authorities, public interest lawyers – are aware of the principles, rules and rulings that are adopted at international and EU level and which ensure access to justice in environmental matters.”