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Malta - Environment and Planning Review Tribunal

Main objectives: Providing more effective and accessible access to justice in cases relating to the environment specifically.


Implementation: The tribunal was set up through Act X of 2010, which enacted the Environment and Development Planning Act (Chapter 504 of the Laws of Malta). The Tribunal originally consisted of 3 members, 1 being a person versed in environment or development planning, who presided, a lawyer and an architect. With regard to the environment, jurisdiction of the Tribunal originally related to specific issues and has since increased to cover any decision taken by the Environment and Resources Authority, and further specifies that the doctrine of juridical interest pertaining to legal standing does not apply to such appeals. The Tribunal is now governed by its own piece of legislation, the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal Act (Chapter 551 of the Laws of Malta).


Result: Creation of a judicial mechanism which has increased standing for individuals and NGOs to challenge decisions relating to the environment.


Why do you think this example shows how the Aarhus Convention made a difference in your country?
This mechanism has allowed for the establishment of a tribunal that is non-costly and expeditious, where individuals may gain standing without having to prove an interest in that appeal in terms of the doctrine of juridical interest. Consequently, it has created a broader and more transparent forum for challenging decisions relating to the environment, valuing environmental protection as a common public interest.

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