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Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee to Consider First Communication

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The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee will hold its fourth meeting   in Geneva on 13-14 May 2004. It will continue discussing its modus operandi and procedures for handling communications, submissions and referrals. The Committee will also preliminary discuss its first communication from the public. In the communication submitted earlier this year a Kazakh NGO asserts that its right to information was violated when a request to Kazatomprom National Atomic Company for information purporting to substantiate a proposal to import and dispose of foreign radioactive waste was not answered. Subsequent appeal procedures in courts of various jurisdictions and instances failed, in the communicant's view, to meet the requirements of article 9.1 of the Convention. According to the communication, the lawsuits were rejected first on grounds of jurisdiction and subsequently on procedural grounds as the courts did not acknowledge the right of a non-governmental organization to file a suit under article 9.1 in its own name rather than as an authorized representative of its members. While the Committee, having reviewed background information, decided the communication to be admissible on procedural grounds, it is expected that review on substantive grounds will take place during the meeting in September 2004, following a consultation with the Party concerned.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


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