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The Aarhus Convention

New public consultation on access to justice in environmental matters

The public consultation “EU implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the area of access of justice in environmental matters” was launched on 20 December 2018. It will be possible to submit comments until 14 March 2019.

This consultation is part of a study on the EU’s implementation of the Aarhus Convention (UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters) in the area of access to justice in environmental matters.
Background information on the Convention can be found in the European Commission's webpage and on the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) website .
The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee found that the EU does not comply with the access to justice provisions of the Convention because of insufficient mechanisms to ensure review of EU acts (ACCC/C/2008/32). This initiative will evaluate the current situation and assess options to address compliance to underpin possible decision-making.
Specifically, the study should provide an evidence-base in support of an assessment of the relevant aspects of the current application of access to justice in environmental matters governed by EU law at EU level and in national courts (the ‘baseline’) and explore the consequences of different options to further develop access to justice, taking into account the baseline and context.
This consultation aims to gather information and views on the effectiveness of access to justice in environmental matters and how the EU has implemented the Convention in this area. It will also gather opinions on the possible economic, social and environmental impacts of any measures that might be considered to resolve problems identified. The feedback received will be taken account of in the study.

The following documents are available: