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Twelfth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice under the Aarhus Convention

28 February - 1 March 2019

Salle VII, Palais des Nations Geneva, Switzerland

The twelfth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice  took place from 28 February 2019 (afternoon) to 1 March 2019 in Geneva (Palais des Nations, Building A, Salle VII).

The meeting aimed to provide a platform for exchanging information, experiences and good practices with regard to key recent developments in the implementation of the Convention’s pillar on access to justice and possible measures to remove barriers hampering its implementation. It thereby supported the implementation of environmental dimension of Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its target 16.3 (Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all)  that undergo in-depth review in 2019 .

The thematic session of the meeting focused on access to justice in cases relating to air quality. The Task Force identified good practices, barriers, challenges, innovative approaches, priority actions and needs to promote effective access to justice in such cases thereby also supporting the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals 3, 11 and 12. In addition, delegates continued the discussion on measures to promote effective access to justice in cases on the right to environmental information based on the preliminary findings of the survey launched at the previous meeting. Delegates also had an opportunity to share information other new developments related to the implementation of the third pillar of the Convention and examined tools to promote effective access to justice.

Hashtags for the meeting: @UNECEAarhus, #AarhusConvention, #AccesstoJustice, #CleanAir, #CleanerAir, #AirQuality, #AirPollution, #EnvironmentalRights, #Right2info, #SDG16

The meeting preceded by 2019 Judicial Colloquium (Geneva, 27-28 (morning) February 2019) for representatives of judiciary, judicial training institutions and other review bodies.

For more information about the meetings, please read here

Documents

Provisional agenda and documents for the meeting are available below.

The background material for the meeting includes relevant information derived from 2017 national implementation reports and the 2017 synthesis report as well as the Convention’s Implementation Guide, relevant Compliance Committee findings of a systemic nature, the analytical studies and the jurisprudence database developed under auspices of the Task Force.

 

Document titleENGFRERUS
Provisional Agenda (AC/TF.AJ-12/Inf.1)PDF
ReportPDFPDFPDF
List of speakers (AC/TF.AJ-12/Inf.1/Add.1)PDF
List of outcomes (AC/TF.AJ-12/Inf.5)PDF
ReportPDF
List of participantsPDF
Item 2. Thematic focus: Access to justice in cases relating to air quality
2019 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment
Item 3. Follow up to the previous thematic session on access to justice in cases on the right to environmental information
All relevant information available in the next tab “AJAI study”
Item 4. Stocktaking of recent and upcoming developments 
Overview of the implementation of article 9 of the Convention regarding encountered challenges (AC/TF.AJ-12/Inf.2)PDF
Selected considerations, findings and reports of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee - article 9, paragraph 1 (AC/TF.AJ-11/Inf.3)PDF
Selected considerations, findings and reports of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee - article 9, paragraphs 2-5 (AC/TF.AJ-12/Inf.3)PDF
Statement by Environment Links UK on access to justice in UK 2019PDF
Item 5. Tools to promote effective access to justice
Overview of the availability of the quantitative data (AC/TF.AJ-12/Inf.4)PDF

 

 

 

Statements and Presentations

TitleENGFRERUS
Item 2. Thematic focus: Access to justice in cases relating to air quality.
(a) Setting the scene
Mr. David BOYD, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment (video-message)
Ms. Albena KARADJOVA, Secretary to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution PDF
(b) Experience in the European Union
Mr. Daniele FRANZONE, Senior Expert, European Commission PDF
Mr. Ugo TADDEI, ClientEarth PDF
(c) Experience in individual Parties to the Convention
Mr. Joost PIKKEMAAT, Senior Legal Counsel, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management, the Netherlands PDF
Mr. Daniel LAMFRIED, Research Assistant, Environment Agency, Germany PDF
Mr. Aidos ZHAKIYALIN, Head of the Department, General Prosecutor’s Office, Kazakhstan PDF
Ms. Regina STOILOVA, Environmental Association Za Zemiata PDF
Mr. Pavel ČERNÝ, Frank Bold Society PDF
PDF
Item 3. Follow up to the previous thematic session on access to justice in cases on the right to environmental information.
(a) Progress report on the survey
Mr. Jan DARPO, Chair of the Task Force on Access to Justice PDF
(b) Recent developments
Ms. Edlira DERSHA, Statistic Officer, Ministry of Tourism and the Environment, Albania PDF
Ms. Melanie CAMPBELL, Investigator, Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information, Ireland PDF
Mr. Thomas SCHOMERUS, Professor, Leuphana University, Germany PDF
Item 4. Stocktaking of recent and upcoming developments.
(a) International level
Ms. Angela KARIUKI, Programme Management Officer, United Nations Environment Programme PDF
(c) Addressing existing challenges
Mr. Plamen PEEV, Bluelink Foundation and Justice and Environment PDF
Ms. Sofyia SHUTIAK, Environment-People-Law PDF
Ms. Mari CHAKRYAN, Public Awareness and Monitoring Centre PDF
Item 5. Tools to promote effective access to justice.
(a) Monitoring the effectiveness of justice
Ms. Tsvetelina FILIPOVA, Senior Policy Analyst, Institute for European Environmental Policy PDF
Mr. Plamen PEEV, Bluelink Foundation and Justice and Environment PDF
(b) Judicial cooperation
Justice Anders BENGTSSON, Land and Environment Court Växjö, Sweden and the Association of European Administrative Judges PDF
Justice Beibut SHERMUKHAMETOV, Supreme Court, Kazakhstan PDFPDF

 

 

 

Study on access to justice in information cases

Pursuant to decision VI/3, para. 14 (a) (i), of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention, the Task Force on Access to Justice at its 11th meeting (Geneva, 27-28 February 2018) agreed to prepare a study on access to justice in information cases.

To gather the required information, a survey was carried out among several institutions dealing with this subject in the selected Parties, namely in Georgia, European Union, Germany, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Portugal, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.  The draft report by the Chair of the Task Force was then prepared summarizing the responses received to the survey. The report provided a basis for the discussion at the 12th meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice (Geneva, 28 February – 1 March 2019).

The draft report was further revised by the Chair in the light of the comments made at the  12th meeting of the Task Force and comments submitted to the secretariat after the meeting.

The present draft report is made available for comments by the Aarhus Convention national focal points and stakeholders (see the revised draft report (v. 29 January 2020) in the table below). The comments should be sent to the secretariat (aarhus.survey[at]un.org) by 1 April 2020. The receipt of the comments will be acknowledged by the secretariat and they will be made available online in the table below.

Following this round of consultations, the progress in preparing this study will be reported to the Working Group of the Parties at its twenty-fourth meeting (Geneva, 1-3 July 2020) and the final text of the report will discussed and finalized  at the next meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice in 2021.

Documents

TitleENGFRERUS
Questionnaire on access to justice in cases on the right to environmental information (AC/TF.AJ-11/Inf.4 (final))PDF
Responses received to the above Chair
Draft report by the Chair (v. 22 February 2019 ) discussed at the 12TFAJ meetingPDF
Comments received on the draft report by the Chair
Revised draft report by the Chair (v. 29 January 2020) for comments by 1 April 2020DOC