About this event
Access to the EU courts for non-privileged applicants including individuals and environmental organisations is still a very live issue that stirs discussions at both international and EU level. Society has evolved since the adoption of the Plaumann test six decades ago and the demand for greater public participation and accountability of decision-makers is resonating across Europe. However, members of the public are still not granted the same access to the EU courts as industry representatives, governments and EU institutions.
The impressive bulk of case law of the EU courts in relation to access to documents adopted in response to challenges by members of the public demonstrates the need and value there is in providing access to justice to individuals and environmental organisations. Following the decision of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee finding the EU to be in violation of the Aarhus Convention for not providing legal standing to members of the public before the EU courts, the European Commission has committed to adopt a legislative proposal to revise the Aarhus Regulation. What opportunities will the revised regulation provide to members of the public? Will it bring the EU into compliance with the Aarhus Convention and finally address part of the democratic deficit that exists at EU level?
This session is part of the virtual conference that closes our 3 years European project on access to justice funded by the European Commission Life Programme and will provide an opportunity to engage in discussion with representatives from EU institutions and Member State authorities, legal professionals, judges and NGO representatives from all over Europe.
Keynote speech – Reflections on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters – by Conference Chair Dr. Áine Ryall, Co-Director, Centre for Law & the Environment, University College Cork & Vice-Chair of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee.
With kind regards,
Onno W. Brouwer is a well-known expert in EU litigation. He is an outspoken advocate for transparency in EU decision-making and has brought many landmark EU transparency cases to the EU Courts.
Mr. Aurel CIOBANU-DORDEA is director of the Directorate for Implementation and Support to the Member States of the DG Environment since January 2014. He is in charge - inter alia - of the enforcement of EU environmental laws and of EU’s participation and obligations under the Aarhus Convention.
Anaïs Berthier is the Head of EU Affairs at ClientEarth in our Brussels office. She has been leading the Environmental Democracy programme for the last 12 years. As such her work focused on ensuring the implementation and enforcement of the procedural rights provided by the Aarhus Convention.
We use the power of the law to bring about systemic change: informing, implementing and enforcing the law, drafting and advising decision-makers on policy, building legal expertise, and ensuring citizens’ access to the laws that defend them.
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