EJNI’s Access to Justice Observatory is a four-month pilot project which has the object of screening legislative developments at EU and National Level for compliance with the access to justice requirements of the Aarhus Convention. At the outset, the project will focus on whether Member-State-level access to justice provision in the proposed EU Climate Law is sufficient. It will also carry out an access to justice analysis of developments in the proposed Aarhus Regulation amendment which is currently progressing through EU level legislative mechanisms. It will seek to link the analysis of these two key legislative proposals with conversations around accountability for climate action at National Level, Irish Climate Legislation (the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020) progressing through the Dáil and all-island climate justice considerations post-Brexit.
The first issue that the team examined surrounded the need for access to justice provisions in the EU Climate Law. The analysis indicated that there were very compelling reasons for the proposed provisions, as detailed in the full and summary briefing papers and associated press release. Dr Ciara Brennan and Alison Hough also presented the findings at a ClientEarth Webinar in January 2020 ‘The EU Climate Law and Access to Justice’.
The team’s third briefing paper considers some key questions related to the current review of the EU’s Aarhus Regulation. The third briefing paper is supported by a detailed technical report produced by Alison Hough.