UNECE Aarhus Convention Clearinghouse

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Eco-design should consider how users maintain non-electrical products . The lifetime environmental impacts of non-electrical consumer products, such as clothes, could be cut by over 40% if consumers maintained them in a more environmentally friendly manner, new research suggests. The study found the impacts of eco-designed products fell significantly when user guidelines were included in the eco-design. English
Publisher: European Commission, 2014.

EVENT: Access to Justice Conference, European Parliament, 12 November 2014. In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including the third pillar on the need for greater access for victims to effective remedy. However, despite the official support given by the European Union and its Member States to the full implementation of the UN Guiding Principles, a recent study published by ECCJ, CORE, and ICAR has shown that the existence of legal, procedural, and institutional barriers still prevent victims of corporate abuses from gaining access to an effective remedy in the EU. The event aims at gaining an understanding of the legal and institutional frameworks pertaining to civil justice in business and human rights, as well as in the environmental, competition, and consumer fields in Europe. During the event, a high-level debate will also be launched on potential solutions to support the adequate implementation of the third pillar of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (i.e. access to remedy) in the EU area of civil justice. Particular attention will be paid to the respective role of the EU institutions and its Member States in ensuring effective judicial remedy in Europe. The event will bring together a diverse range of stakeholders from academia, legal profession, business, civil society and policy makers. English
Publisher: Frank Bold

"Call For Input" Public Consultation on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development - Deadline October 15th. This summer UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established the Independent Expert Advisory Group (IAEG) to provide concrete recommendations on how to achieve a Data Revolution for sustainable development. The IEAG report – due in early November – will be a crucial opportunity to explain how better quality and more timely data can transform development. The group is also looking for innovative approaches to data collection, publication, and use. To solicit input from all communities of practice – particularly academia – the IAEG is hosting a public consultation at undatarevolution.org to solicit input into its work until October 15, 2015. In spite of the short notice, we strongly encourage you to submit your ideas and suggestions for the data revolution. English
Publisher: UN

Public support for wind farms increases with community participation. Public support grows for wind farms if they are located away from recreational areas and if they are either fully or partly owned by organisations within the local community. In addition, Swedish consumers would accept bigger bills for electricity generated by wind power if the local population were heavily involved in wind farm planning, a recent survey suggests. English
Publisher: European Commission, 2014.

EVENT: Project workshop "Building upon good practices in European judicial training". To enable training providers to exchange ideas and find partners for further developing training for legal practitioners in how to apply EU law. The ideas are based on good practices for organising, implementing and evaluating such training that have been collected from across Europe in the framework of a Pilot project proposed by the European Parliament and implemented by the Commission. The workshop also explained how providers can get EU-funding to help them introduce new training techniques (generally for projects involving cross-border cooperation). The workshop contributed to the aim of the Commission´s Communication 2011pdf to deliver high-quality training to half of all legal practitioners by 2020. English
Publisher: European Commission, 2014.

European Commission invites applications for judicial training projects and allocates 5 million €. For the first time, the European Commission has set aside financial support exclusively for judicial training activities. All organisations envisaging to implement European judicial training activities together with partners from at least one other EU Member State are invited to compete with their proposals for financial support of 5 million € in total. They will have time until mid November to draft high-quality projects on training legal practitioners in EU law or law of other EU member states, developing training material or other activities helpful to implement judicial training in the European Union and get into contact with similarly minded partners from other EU Member States. Applicants may be inspired by the results of a workshop that presented good practices of European judicial training in June 2014 in Brussels. The award criteria have become more flexible, since apart from concentrating on funding priorities fixed by the European Commission it is also possible to gain points for the award decision by demonstrating that the project is tackling further training needs of the legal practice. In order to lower the bureaucratic burden, in certain cases lump sums have been introduced. Funding smaller training projects has become easier, since the minimum amount of the financial support (a percentage of the project budget) has been lowered. English
Publisher: European Commission, 2014.

Global Symposium on Environmental Rule of Law. On the occasion of the first session of the UNEA, A Global Symposium on Environmental Rule of Law gathered Chief Justices, Attorneys General, Judges, Chief prosecutors, Auditors General, leading legal scholars, practitioners and experts to discuss the ways and means by which the further development and implementation of environmental rule of law can help ensure just and sustainable development outcomes, including adequate and implementable laws, access to justice and information, public participation, accountability, transparency, liability for environmental damage, fair and just enforcement, and human rights. English
Publisher: UNEP, 2014.

Access to Justice in environmental matters. Perspectives from the European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment . By Prof. Dr. L. Lavrysen, Judge in the Belgian Constitutional Court, Brussels,President of the European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment Paper prepared for the Global Symposium on the Environmental Rule of Law, 24 June 2014 Following up the recommendations made during the UNEP Global Judges Symposium of 2002 in Johannesburg and the Ad Hoc Planning Meeting in January 2003 in Nairobi, the judges from Western Europe present at that meeting, considered to set up a regional forum of judges for the environment[...] The objective of the Forum is to promote the enforcement of national, European and international environmental law in a perspective of sustainable development. The aim of the Forum is in particular to exchange experiences in the area of training of the judiciary in environmental law, contribute to a better knowledge of environmental law, share experiences with environmental case law and contribute to a more effective enforcement of environmental law. English
Publisher: UNEP, 2014.

The Aarhus Convention: An Implementation Guide (second edition). The Aarhus Convention Implementation Guide is therefore intended as a convenient non-legally binding and user-friendly reference tool to assist policymakers, legislators and public authorities in their daily work of implementing the Convention and of realizing the provisions of Principle 10 in practice. It is also hoped that it will assist members of the public and environmental non-governmental organizations to exercise their rights under the Convention. The Implementation Guide provides both a general overview of the principles behind the Convention and a detailed article-by-article analysis of its provisions. In its analysis, the Guide draws on other international law instruments in the area of the environment and human rights, decisions adopted by the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention, findings of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, academic writings and examples from national legislation and practice. English | French | Russian
Publisher: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, 2014.

Protecting your environment: The power is in your hands. Quick guide to the Aarhus Convention English
Publisher: UNECE, 2014.

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