Draft findings and recommendations of the compliance committee with regard to communication ACCC/C/2008/32 (Part II) concerning compliance by the European Union

Background

On 1 December 2008, the non-governmental organization (NGO) ClientEarth (the communicant), supported by a number entities and a private individual,[1] submitted a communication to the Committee alleging a failure by the European Union (EU) to comply with its obligations under article 3, paragraph 1, and article 9, paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5, of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention).

That communication is summarised in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Committee’s findings and recommendations with regard to communication ACCC/C/2008/32 (Part I) concerning compliance by the EU[2], which were adopted by the Compliance Committee at its thirty-second meeting (Geneva, 11-14 April 2011). Paragraphs 4 and 5 of Part I explain that the Committee determined that the communication was admissible and describes the procedure that was followed.

In Part I the Committee focused on the main allegation of the communicant by examining the jurisprudence of the EU Courts on access to justice in environmental matters generally. In doing so, the Committee considered whether in the WWF-UK case the EU Courts had accounted for the fact that the Aarhus Convention had entered into force for the Party concerned. The Committee decided not to make specific findings on whether the case in itself amounted to non-compliance with the Convention. In addition, while awaiting the outcome of the Stichting Milieu case, which was still pending before the EU Courts, the Committee refrained from examining whether Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council Of 6 September 2006 on the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Community institutions and bodies (the Aarhus Regulation) or any other relevant internal administrative review procedure of the EU met the requirements on access to justice in the Convention. The Committee decided to stay its proceedings and the adoption of its findings with regard to the second part of communication ACCC/C/2008/32 until the Court of Justice of the European Union (the European Court of Justice) (hereinafter the ECJ) adopted its ruling in joined cases C-401/12 P to C-403/12 P[3] and joined cases C-404/12 P and C-405/12 P[4].

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Published June 27, 2016
Found in Rule of law