On November 7, 2019, the High Administrative Court of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, in partnership with EPL, with the funding of the EU organized important and useful event for judges, academia and public. The participants to this event discussed elements of access to justice and court practice in cases concerning protection of environmental rights and protection of environment.
EPL was represented by its lawyers – E.Alekseyeva, О.Melen-Zabramna, N.Kuts and S.Shutyak, and executive director O.Kravchenko. They presented EPL’s court practice, including the decisions of the Supreme Court of Ukraine in cases related to the protection of environment.
International participants of the forum – judges from Austria and Poland – shared their experience and positive practice of solution of environmental cases and accounting of ecological aspects in economic and administrative litigation. Professor of law from China presented Chinese legislative experience introducing action popularis cases.
Numerous times different presenters cited the provisions of the Aarhus convention, which is part of national legislation and broadly defines access to justice in environmental cases. The forum discussed also the most problematic issues of litigation in environmental cases: application of interim measures, court fees, duration of litigation, discretion of public authorities and reluctance of judges to take concrete decisions substituting state authorities.
Representatives of EPL stressed that in accordance with provisions of Aarhus convention the public, including non-governmental environmental organizations have standing to go to court to protect the environment and absence of the obligation to formulate violation of their subjective rights or interests, but protecting public interest in cases of violation of environmental legislation by private and public entities.
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