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France - Constitutional Court - Schuepbach Energy LLC challeged a ban on hydraulic fracturing (Decision n° 2013-346 QPC) - A link to the decision. Key subject:
In June 2011, after numerous protests by environmental groups, the French parliament voted to ban the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, due to potential risks to the environment. U.S-based firm Schuepbach Energy had challenged on four counts a ban, which led to two of its exploration permits being cancelled in southern France. In October 2012, France decided to maintain a ban on fracking until there is proof that shale gas exploration won’t harm the environment or “massacre” the landscape. In October 2013, the Constitutional Court considered the observations submitted by the Government and the environmental NGOs and ruled that in imposing the ban, lawmakers were pursuing a legitimate goal in the general interest of protecting the environment and noted differences between geothermal and shale gas exploration techniques. The court also rejected an argument that the ban was imposed against property rights.
Key words: ban on hydraulic fracturing, fracking French
Lithuania - Supreme Court - R. S. and others v. Marijampolė Regional Environmental Protection Department of Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, CSC “Saerimner” - Summary with a link to the judgement. Key issue: the Aarhus Convention includes a broad scope right to actio negatoria of the public concerned. Even if it is not directly enshrined in every specific national legal act, it derives from the Constitution and the Law on Environment Protection. Key words: public interest, non-governmental organizations, access to justice. English | Lithuanian
Lithuania - Supreme Administrative Court - Curonian Spit national park management plan case - Summary with a link to the judgement. Key issue: Individuals cannot challenge the legality of Governmental decisions by a separate action for annulment in administrative court. However, individuals can challenge the legality of Government’s resolution in individual proceeding, that is to say, to initiate the legality verification procedure in
administrative court (the latter may bring a case to the Constitutional Court).
Key words: access to justice, decision, government English | Lithuanian
Lithuania - Supreme Court - District chief prosecutor v. “Bitė Lietuva” - Summary with a link to the judgement. Key issue: any restrain on public participation in the procedure of preparation and consideration of city plans are recognized as a breach of public interest in the practice of the Lithuanian Supreme Court and therefore grounds for annulment.
Key words: public interest, subjective right, detailed plan English | Lithuanian
Ukraine - Administrative Court of Appeal - NGOs v. the Ministry of Education and Science - summary with a link to the judgement . Key issue: the Court of Appeal allowed an action brought by environmental NGOs against the Ministry of Education and Science for its failure to provide environmental education at various educational levels and found that the Ministry had failed to perform its obligation according to the Law of Ukraine “On protection of Animals Against Cruel Treatment”
Key words: environmental education, protection of citizens’ environmental rights, prevention of cruelty to animals, appeal of failure to act by public authority, judicial review and access to justice
English | Russian | Ukrainian
Belgium - Supreme Court - PP and PSLV v. Gewestelijk Stedenbouwkundig I nspecteur and M vzw - Summary with a link to the judgement. Key issue: standing for Environmental NGOs - the Supreme Court of Belgium changed its position on s
tanding in criminal cases in view of implementing article 9, paragraph 3, of the Aarhus Convention, allowing an environmental NGO to take action for reparation in a case dealing with illegal constructions.
Key words: access to Justice, Criminal case, Violation of Domestic Environmental Law, Civil Party, Environmental NGO, Compensation for moral damages Dutch | English
EU - Court of Justice - Jozef Križan and Others v Slovenská inšpekcia životného prostredia (C-416/10 ) - Summary with a link to the preliminary ruling. Kye issue: Effective remedies - Members of the public concerned must be able to ask the court to suspend a challenged permit during the review procedure. Key words: reference for a preliminary ruling, Directive 85/337/EEC , Directive 96/61/EC, construction of a landfill site, permit, trade secrets, effect on the validity of the decision authorising the landfill site, EIA, effective legal remedy, interim measures, right to property. English | Slovene
Tajikistan - Hudjand Municipal Court - Access to information on the environmental impact of a distilling plant, case 2-583 - Summary with a link to the judgement. Key issue: Access to information – Court upheld citizen’s claim against the Environment Protection Department of the town of Hudjand following its refusal to provide information on the environment impact of a distilling plant. Key words: environmental information and access to environmental information. English | Russian | Tajik
ECHR Environment-related cases . This document provides a fact sheet for selected environmental court cases from the European Court of Human Rights. English
Significant EU Environmental Cases: 2012.. The article presents various environmental court cases of European Union (EU). It focuses on the Aarhus Convention, a multilateral environmental agreement which provides citizens an access to environmental information held by public authorities. It highlights that public authority does not encompass legislative bodies to ensure smooth legislation adoption. It discusses the EU's Nomarchiaki case that reflects the dispute on partial water diversion of the river Acheloos to Thessaly. It illustrates that the guidance on "imperative reasons of overriding public interest (IROPI)" under the EU's Habitats Directive was considered in natural habitats and wild fauna and flora conservation. It also presents cases on the intentional dispatch of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) into the environment.
Article available at:
Journal Of Environmental Law, 25, 1, pp. 145-157, Environment Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 13 June 2013.
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