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Background

Article 15 of the Aarhus Convention on review of compliance, requires the Meeting of the Parties to establish "optional arrangements of a non-confrontational, non-judicial and consultative nature for reviewing compliance with the provisions of the Convention". Following this obligation, the Meeting of the Signatories established a Working Group to prepare such a mechanism. At its first session (October 2002), the Meeting of the Parties adopted decision I/7 on review of compliance (ENG FRE RUS) and elected the first Compliance Committee.

The Parties regularly address issues of compliance, on the basis of the Committee's reports. At the Committee's recommendation, they adopt decisions on general issues of compliance and also decisions on compliance by individual Parties

The compliance mechanism may be triggered in four ways:

(1) a Party may make a submission about compliance by another Party;
(2) a Party may make a submission concerning its own compliance;
(3) the secretariat may make a referral to the Committee;
(4) members of the public may make communications concerning a Party's compliance with the convention.

In addition, the Committee may examine compliance issues on its own initiative and make recommendations; prepare reports on compliance with or implementation of the provisions of the Convention at the request of the Meeting of the Parties; and monitor, assess and facilitate the implementation of and compliance with the reporting requirements under article 10, paragraph 2, of the Convention.

In the course of its work the Committee develops specific details of its modus operandi.

Since its establishment, the Committee has reached a number of findings with regard to compliance by individual Parties. The Committee's considerations with regard to specific provisions of the Convention have been compiled in a brochure (first edition and second edition) by Resource & Analysis Center "Society and Environment".