Access to Justice in Environmental Matters: The EU’s Difficult Road Towards Non-Compliance With the Aarhus Convention

Matthijs Wolferen, van, Mariolina Eliantonio

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There is not only a long and commonly held (academic) opinion, but also an international obligation that requires the European Union to have easy access to justice for environmental nongovernmental organisations (ENGOs). However, even under heavy international pressure, the standing requirements that limit the access to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for these applicants remain in place. This chapter aims to introduce the general system of access to justice under Article 263 and Article 267 TFEU. It will be explained how the Court has a particular view on how judicial review should function. It is however likely that this system has a number of deficiencies. These deficiencies are clearly brought to light in the complaint that was raised before the Aarhus Convention’s compliance mechanism. An analysis of this procedure and its problematic outcome will be used to discuss the future for these public interest litigants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on EU Environmental Law
EditorsMarjan Peeters, Mariolina Eliantonio
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781788970679
ISBN (Print)9781788970662
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameResearch Handbooks in European Law series


  • access to justice
  • aarhus convention
  • court of justice
  • public interest litigation
  • environmental law
  • EU Law

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