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Lithuania - Supreme Administrative Court - A. Ž. and others v. Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania and its Vilnius Regional Environmental Protection Department - Summary with the judgement text. Key issue: Individuals and groups of individuals did not have the right to defend public interests in a case concerning illegal lumbering. Key words: access to justice and defence of public interest. English
Armenia - Administrative Court - Dolphynarium case - summary with a link to the judgement. Key issue: NGO standing - The Administrative Court of Armenia referring to the previous judgments by the Cassation Court and the Constitutional Court stated that environmental NGOs did not have standing before the court in case of requesting environmental impact assessment for the specific project listed in article 4 of Armenian Law "On Environmental Impact Expertiza". Key words: access to justice, legal standing, non-governmental organization, abstract claim and environmental impact assessment. Armenian | English
Belgium - Council of State - IMMO Dominique, Council of State, Nr. 221.784/2012 - summary with a link to the judgement. Key issue: Access to justice – Two small businesses, located 3 and 5 kilometres away from a planned large scale shopping center, were granted standing in the Council of State to challenge the environmental permit for the establishment that had been issued by the Minister of the environment of the Flemish region. As to the substance of the case, the Council of State suspended of the permit, as the principle of care had been violated in the decision making and the negative impacts of the establishment would be impossible to rectify at a later stage. Key words: environmental permit, large scale commercial complex, EIS, insufficient measures to avoid important traffic problems, access to justice, legal standing, sufficient interest, injunctive relief, effective remedy Dutch | English
EU - Court of Justice - Mr Edwards and Mr Pallicaropoulos (C-260/11) - Summary with a link to the preliminary ruling. Key issue: Access to justice and costs in environmental cases. Key words: Access to justice, costs and meaning of prohibitive expense.
This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of the fifth paragraph of Article 10a of Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (OJ 1985 L 175, p. 40) and the fifth paragraph of Article 15a of Council Directive 96/61/EC of 24 September 1996 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (OJ 1996 L 257, p. 26), as amended by Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 (OJ 2003 L 156, p. 17) (‘Directive 85/337’ and ‘Directive 96/61’, respectively).
The request has been made in proceedings between, on the one hand, Mr Edwards and Ms Pallikaropoulos and, on the other, the Environment Agency, the First Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs concerning a permit issued by the Environment Agency for the operation of a cement works. The request concerns the conformity with European Union law of the decision of the House of Lords ordering Ms Pallikaropoulos, whose appeal had been dismissed as unfounded, to pay the costs of the opposing parties.
National metaregister for environmental information in the Republic of Serbia. Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia and the Environmental Protection Agency of the Republic of Serbia, with the support of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), have conducted a project of the development of the Ecoregister, which represents the National Metaregister for Environmental Information. The project was conducted during 2012, and it represented a part of the implementation process of the Strategy for the Implementation of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters – the Aarhus Convention („Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 103/11). Ecoregister represents an electronic database and a portal to the existing databases and documents with environmental information that are available on the Internet. Ecoregister comprises environmental information that is kept and maintained by responsible ministries, agencies, local governments, protected area managers, as well as the available data on the state of all segments of the environment (air, water and soil pollution), waste, pollution emitters, flora and fauna, etc. The Ecoregister is created as a sub-domain on the website of the Environmental Protection Agency at the following address: http://www.ekoregistar.sepa.gov.rs. A public promotion of the Ecoregister was held in Belgrade on 12 December 2012. The Ecoregister has been operational since January 2013. The main aim of the Ecoregister establishment is to provide quick, easy and simple public access to environmental information, and to improve general availability of such information for the general public. For the information that is not available in electronic or other formats, Ecoregister will contain information about institutions that are responsible for their publishing and maintenance, with the contact data of responsible persons in those institutions, and the description of the application procedure for the access to information. By applying various interactive search systems, users are provided with easy retrieval of the information they need, as well as with a direct access to documents that are available online, while regarding the information that is not available on the Internet, necessary contact data of responsible institutions are provided. The simple database search option is provided in the upper part of each webpage, where the title or a part of the tile of the needed document can be entered. Furthermore, database search can be also accessed by choosing the option “Search” from the main menu and selecting one of the four basic types of search from the drop-down menu: “Advanced search”, “Search by maps”, “Index of documents” or “Index of institutions”. Using the option “Advanced search”, database can be searched by selecting the type of the document (e.g. whether the document in question is a law, a study, etc.), the topic that the document deals with (e.g. biodiversity, air quality, climate change, etc.), responsible institution, etc. By choosing the option “Search by maps”, users can access four interactive maps that present municipalities, cities, larger protected areas and the major enterprises on the territory of Serbia, and the document can be accessed by selecting responsible institution from the map or drop-down lists. Similar search option is “Index of institutions”, which presents alphabetically ordered list of all institutions and organizations that hold environmental information. “Index of documents” represents the list of all documents registered in the database. If the searched document is already available on the Internet, it can be accessed directly through the database. If the document is not available online, database will present contact information of the responsible institution, which can be contacted regarding the access to the needed document.
English | Serbian
Risk management and governance of chemicals in articles - Case study textiles. The case study comprises all life cycle stages of textiles. English
Resource Compendium of PRTR Release Estimation Techniques, Part 4: Summary of Techniques for Releases from Products, Part II. Case Studies: Lead in products; NP/NPEs in products; Building and construction products; Electrical and electronic products; Furniture; Nanoproducts; Packages and plastic bags; Pesticides; Pharmaceuticals; personal care and cleaning products; Textile and leather products; Toys and low-cost jewellery; Calculations for Nordic countries English
Resource Compendium of PRTR Release Estimation Techniques, Part 4: Summary of Techniques for Releases from Products, Part I. Information on chemical releases to the environment from the use of products
- an overview of existing inventories on releases from products (chapter 2)
- work and tools to restrict releases from products (chapter 3)
- information systems on chemicals in products (chapter 4)
- overview of likely releases from the use phase of products (chapter 5)
- introduction to release patterns and release estimation techniques (chapters 6 & 7)
- status of reporting releases from the use of products to PRTRs (chapter 8)
Case studies and annexes in Part II
ENV/JM/MONO(2011)7/PART1. Series on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers No. 12 under OECD, Chemical safety and biosafety, Risk management of installations and chemicals
Council of Europe - European Court of Human Rights Flamenbaum a.o. v France, Applications nos. 3675/04, 23264/04. The ECHR held unanimously that the right to respect for private and family life (art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) and the right for protection of property (art. 1 of Protocol No. 1) were not violated in the case concerning the extension of the main runway at Deauville Airportand the resulting disturbance affecting the properties of local residents.
According to the Court, the runway extension project was subject to numerous detailed impact assessment procedures with public participation and the interested public had had reasonable access to justice for remedies and compensation. As for the argument that the decision-making process was fragmented and the public had had no chance to examine the overall project, the Court found that although the Government has to respect individual interests, it can choose “the ways and means of complying with that obligation”.
Press release available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng-press/pages/search.aspx?i=003-4197918-4977240
Note: The Chamber judgment is not final. There is a possibility of appeal to the Grand Chamber during the three-month period following its delivery. French
EU - Court of Justice - Križan and Others (C-416/10) - Judgement. On the occasion of its decision for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Najvyšší súd Slovenskej republiky (Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic), the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its decision on 15 January 2013.
In 2006, the regional urban planning service of Bratislava (Slovakia) adopted an urban planning decision concerning the establishment of a waste landfill site. The decision was not published. The Slovak environmental inspectorate then initiated the authorization procedure for the contstruction and operation of the landfill, during which residents of Pezikok requested publication of the prior urban planning decision and brought an administrative appeal, but the environmental protection body confirmed the planning decision, and then pursued judicial remedies. The Supreme Court requested the Court of Justice to explain the extent of the public's right to participate in procedures for the authorization of projects having significant effects on the environment.
The Court in its decision of 15 January 2013, stated that the uban planning decision on the establishment of a landfil is one of the measures in the course of the final decision authorizing the installation and includes information on the environmental impact, the conditions that the developer must meet to limit that impact, the objections raised by parties to the urban planning decision and the reasoning of the authoritiy to take its final decision. As such, in the light of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention and the IPPC Directive, "the refusal to make the urban planning decision available to the public cannot be justified by invoking the protection of the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information". The Court also stated that the public concerned should have all the relevant information from the first stage of the administrative procedure. It added that members of the public should have the right to request the adoption of interim measures designed to prevent pollution (according to the IPPC Directive) such as temporary suspension of the permit at issue.
For a press release from the CJCU, see http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2013-01/cp130001en.pdf
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