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Participatory Rights in the Environmental Decision-Making Process and the Implementation of the Aarhus Convention: a Comparative Perspective

Editors: Lohse, Eva Julia | Poto, Margherita

Schriften zum Internationalen Recht, Vol. 205

(2015)

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About The Author

Eva Lohse hat Jura in Erlangen und Lausanne studiert und 2005 einen LLM in Europarecht und Rechtsvergleichung an der University of Kent, Canterbury (UK), gemacht. Nach der Promotion hat sie sich 2015 an der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg habilitiert. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte liegen im internationalen Umweltrecht, der Rechtsvergleichung und dem Schutz von Grund- und Menschenrechten in Mehrebenensystemen. Sie ist derzeit wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Hans-Liermann-Institut an der FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg und am Institut für Rechtstheorie der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

Margherita Poto ist Tenured-Assistant Professor in Verwaltungsrecht an der Universität Turin (Italien). In den letzten 14 Jahren lagen ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte im Verwaltungsrecht aus italienischer sowie aus vergleichender Perspektive. Daneben hat sie sich mit Finanzaufsicht, Umweltrecht und dem zunehmenden globalen Bewusstsein für Umweltschutz, Lebensmittelrecht und Nachhaltigkeit beschäftigt. Dahinter steckt die Idee, Bezüge zwischen Rechtskulturen und -traditionen zu finden und »best practices« aus aller Welt zu vergleichen.

Abstract

Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung in Umweltangelegenheiten beruht auf der Idee, dass Bürger und Behörden eine ökologische Verantwortung haben, auf die Erde zu achten. Rechtlich wird diese Idee durch Beteiligungsrechte in Verwaltungs- und Gerichtsverfahren einerseits und in rechtlichen Pflichten für die Behörden andererseits zum Ausdruck gebracht. Trotz gemeinsamer internationaler (Aarhus Convention) und supranationaler (EG-/EU-Richtlinien) Verpflichtungen unterscheiden sich diese Rechte und Pflichten in den europäischen Rechtsordnungen aufgrund von unterschiedlichen Rechtsvorschriften sowie (Rechts-)Traditionen. Ziel ist es, einen rechtsvergleichenden Überblick über die Beteiligungsrechte für Bürger und die Pflichten der Behörden in Deutschland und Italien als Mitgliedstaaten der Europäischen Union zu geben. Dies trägt zur besseren Umsetzung der völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen ebenso wie zur Herausbildung eines sich gerade entwickelnden gemeinsamen europäischen Rechts zur Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung in Umweltangelegenheiten bei.The book provides a comparative overview of the implementation of participatory rights in environmental decision making. The core idea was to explore the legal cultures of various EU member states, where the principles of the Aarhus Convention have been implemented in national law with a focus on German and Italian environmental law. Our project aims to contribute to the knowledge of whether European Union law is on the right way to establish such an approach.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Inhaltsverzeichnis 7
Eva Julia Lohse, Giulia Parola and Margherita Poto: Introductory Remarks on the Idea and the Purpose of a German-Italian Dialogue on Participation in Environmental Decision-Making 9
I. Scientific Background of the Project 9
II. Success and Outcome of the Project 11
Part I: Perspectives on Participation – Rationales, Protected Interests, Democracy 13
Giulia Parola: Ecological Interest as a Leading Rationale for Participation: Ecological Duties of the Citizens and of the Authorities 15
Abstract 15
I. Introduction 15
II. Environmental Participation to an Ecological Responsibility 17
III. Ecological Duties: Two Fundamental Duties 19
1. Duty to Protect the Environment for the Sake of the Present and Future Generations 21
2. Duty to Protect the Environment for the Sake of the Environment 22
IV. The Implementation of the Ecological Duties in the Aarhus Convention and in the Members States’ Legal Systems 22
1. Implementation Through Codification 23
a) Implementation in the AC 23
b) Implementation in Member States’ Legislation 25
2. Implementation Through Representation of Future Generations and of Nature 26
a) Art. 9 (3) AC, the Fourth Pillar 27
b) Implementation in Member States’ Legislation 28
V. Conclusion 29
References 29
Cristina Fraenkel-Haeberle: Participatory Democracy and the Global Approach in Environmental Legislation 33
Abstract 33
I. Introductory Remarks 33
II. Participatory, Deliberative and Associative Democracy 34
III. The Temporal and Transversal Dimension in Environmental Law – Sustainability in Law 36
IV. The Democratisation of Environmental Law 38
V. An Example of the Horizontal Circulation of Models 40
VI. Concluding Remarks 42
References 43
Claudia Sartoretti: The Aarhus Convention Between Protection of Human Rights and Protection of the Environment 45
Abstract 45
I. Introduction 45
II. Historical Development 46
III. Perspectives on the Relationship Between Human Rights and Environmental Protection 47
IV. Substantive and Procedural Environmental Rights 49
V. The Convention of Aarhus: a Particular ˋConvergence’ Between Environmental Protection and Defence of Human Rights 50
VI. Conclusions 53
References 55
Paolo Turrini: Participatory Rights and the Notion of Interest in Environmental Decision-making: a Theoretical Sketch and Some International Legal Considerations 59
Abstract 59
I. Introduction 59
II. Preliminary Remarks on the Concept of Participation 60
III. Interest-based Attribution of Participatory Rights 62
1. The Notion of Interest-based Participation 62
2. The Practical Use of the Notion 63
IV. Factors Affecting the Class of Interested Parties 64
1. What is Decision-making? 65
2. What is the Environment? 66
3. What is Environmental Decision-making? 66
4. Other Procedural Limits 66
5. The Notion of Interest 68
V. Interests, Participation and International Law 68
VI. Conclusions 70
References 71
Federica Cittadino: Public Interest to Environmental Protection and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Procedural Rights to Participation and Substantive Guarantees 75
Abstract 75
I. Introduction 75
II. Indigenous Participation in the Decisions of Human Rights Bodies: Four Strands of Rights 78
1. ˋLight Participation’: Participation Through Individual Political Rights 79
2. The Assessment of Participation as a Formal Requirement 80
3. Indigenous Participation as a Requirement for Effective Participation 82
4. Consent of Indigenous Peoples as a Requirement of Effective Participation 84
III. Conclusion 86
1. Indigenous Peoples and Participation 86
2. Lessons to be Drawn: the Conceptualisation of Participation 87
References 89
Part II: Participation in Administrative Decision-making: Prerequisites and Principles in National and Supranational Law 91
Margherita Poto: Strengths and Weaknesses of Environmental Participation Under the Aarhus Convention: What Lies Beyond Rhetorical Proceduralisation? 93
Abstract 93
I. Introductory Remarks 93
II. The AC Participatory Approach and its Shifts in Mentality: Political, Diplomatic and Legal 94
1. The Political Side 94
2. The Shift in Diplomacy 94
3. A New Legal Mind-set 95
III. The Aarhus Convention Compliance: Internal Mechanisms and National Outputs 97
1. The Compliance Committee: a New Participatory Approach to Monitor Compliance 97
2. The European Union: a Good Level of Compliance due to Legal Tradition 99
3. Actions for Better Compliance 100
IV. Reasons Behind the Delayed or Scarce Compliance 101
V. A Successful Model of Participation Under the AC Aegis: the Municipality of Capannori 102
VI. Conclusion and Way Forward 103
References 103
Viviana Molaschi: The Implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Italy: a Strong ˋVision’ and a Weak ˋVoice’ 105
Abstract 105
I. Preliminary Remarks 105
II. The Implementation System of the Aarhus Convention: a Brief Outline 107
III. Access to Environmental Information in Italy 108
IV. Examples of Implementation of the Second Pillar of the AC in the Italian Environmental Code and in Other Legislation Relevant to the Environment 112
V. Closing Observations 116
References 117
Julian Zwicker / Franziska Sperfeld: Participation of Environmental Associations in the Context of Nature Conservation Law in Germany 121
Abstract 121
I. Introduction 122
II. Principals and Basic Structures of Mandatory Participation in Germany 123
1. Criteria and State of Recognition 123
2. Excursus: Compliance of sec. 3 (1) UmwRG with the AC Objectives 124
3. Participatory Rights 125
4. Basic Organisational and Co-operational Structures of German Environmental Associations 128
III. Contents and Conclusions of the Status-workshop 129
1. Procedures of Participatory Work 130
a) Administrative Procedure 130
b) Communication Methods 131
2. Challenges Within Working Procedures 131
IV. Perspective 132
References 134
Nicola Below: Participation Under REACH – Stakeholder Interests and Implementation of EU Secondary Law 135
Abstract 135
I. Introduction 135
II. Definition of Participation 137
III. Participation in European Union Chemical Regulation 139
1. Actors Involved: Stakeholders and Interested Parties 139
2. Functions of Stakeholder Involvement 140
3. Cooperation with the ECHA 140
4. Consultation in Decision-making Processes 141
a) Registration 142
b) Dossier and Substance Evaluation 142
c) Management of Problematic Substances 143
aa) Initial Decision Basis 144
bb) Authorisation Procedure 144
cc) Restriction Procedure 145
IV. NGOs’ Perception of Participation Under REACH 147
1. Practices and Struggles of NGOs in General 148
2. Authorisation and Restriction Procedures Behind the Background of Art. 8 AC 150
V. Conclusion 153
References 154
Part III: Participation Through Access to Justice – Conditions and Concepts of Judiciary Participation 157
Eva Julia Lohse: Access to Justice – the Main Challenge for Implementing the Aarhus Convention 159
I. Introduction 159
II. Points of Interest in the Context of Implementation 161
1. Public and Public Concerned 161
2. The Foundation of Access to the Courts and Standing – Individual or Collective, Material or Procedural 162
3. Implementing Restrictions of Access to Justice in National Law 165
a) The Notion of ˋEnvironment’ and ˋEnvironmental Law’ 165
b) Defining Non-governmental Organisations: Promoting the Protection of the Environment 166
c) Standard of Review 166
d) Foreclosure and Exemption of Causes of Action 167
e) Inequality Between Individuals and NGOs as well as Between Claims in Environmental Matters and Those Outside Environmental Law 167
III. Modes of Implementation 168
IV. Risk of Divergence due to Review by Differing International Bodies 169
V. The Future of Access to Justice (in Environmental Matters) 170
References 171
Angela Schwerdtfeger: Implementation and the Separation of Powers 173
Abstract 173
I. Introduction 174
II. Background 174
1. Art. 9 AC 174
2. Relevant Case Law 175
III. First Step: CJEU Versus Parties to the Convention and Pro National Courts 176
IV. Second Step: German FAC Versus Legislature 177
1. Legal Protection in German Administrative Law 177
a) Protective Norm Doctrine 177
b) Environmental Organisations 177
c) Excursus: CJEU, Case C-115/09 – Trianel 178
2. The Recent Judgement of the German FAC 179
a) Legal Construction 179
b) Criticism 181
aa) Disruption of the German Concept of Standing 181
bb) Material versus Procedural Approach 181
cc) Limits of Interpretation 182
V. Third Step: the Aarhus Compliance Committee 184
1. The German Case 184
2. The ˋGeneral Picture’ Approach 184
VI. Conclusion 185
1. Underlying Reasons 185
2. The Protagonists' Roles 186
3. Enforcement of the Convention 186
References 187
Elena Fasoli: The German Criteria for Access to Justice Under the Scrutiny of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee and of the Court of Justice of the European Union: Is There Room for Similar Proceedings Against Italy? 189
Abstract 189
I. Introduction 189
II. The German Criteria Before the ACCC and the CJEU: a Comparison with the Italian Legal System 190
1. The Requirement that the Decision has to Affect the Objectives of Environmental Protection as Defined in the Statute of the Association 192
2. The Requirement that Review has to be Granted for the Substantive and Procedural Legality of the Decision 193
3. The Requirement that the Challenged Decision Violates Provisions Serving the Environment 194
4. The Requirement that the Challenged Decision Violates Legal Provisions that Could Be of Importance for the Decision 197
III. The (Remaining) Criteria in Italian Law for Access to Justice under the (Possible) Scrutiny of the CJEU and/or the ACCC? 198
IV. Concluding Remarks 200
References 201
Bilun Müller: The Effect of the Aarhus Convention’s Right to Access to the Courts in Germany 203
Abstract 203
I. Introduction 203
II. The AC’s Right to Access the Courts Concerning Public Participation 204
III. The German History of Public Participation, the Opportunities for Judicial Review in this Context, the Importance of Procedural Flaws, and the European Influence 205
1. The History of Public Participation 205
2. The History of the Right to Access the Courts 207
a) The German System at the Outset 207
b) The Influence of European and International Law 208
3. The History of the Relevance of Non-conformance with Procedural Requirements 209
IV. Evaluation of the Current Situation 211
1. Individuals vs. NGOs 211
2. Standing for NGOs 212
a) The Amendments by Sec. 4a (1) EAA 212
b) The Requirement of Violation of Environmental Law 213
c) Consequences of Non-conformance with Procedural Requirements 215
d) The Restriction of Control of the Courts 216
V. Conclusion 216
References 217
Ulrike Giera: Attorneys for the Environment – an Effective Implementation of Art. 9 (3) Aarhus Convention? 219
Abstract 219
I. Introduction 220
II. Historical Development 220
III. The Term ˋOmbudsman for the Environment’ 222
IV. Organisation 223
V. Purpose and Duties of the Ombudsman for the Environment 224
1. Participation in Administrative Proceedings 225
2. Procedural Position of the Ombudsman for the Environment 227
a) Subjective Right and Standing in Austrian Administrative Law 227
b) Standing and Environmental Law 228
c) Procedural Rights of the Ombudsman for the Environment 228
VI. The Ombudsman for the Environment and the Aarhus Convention 230
1. Implementation of the Aarhus Convention into Austrian Legislation 230
2. The Ombudsman as an Implementation Measure 231
a) A Member of the Public? 231
b) Promoting the Objectives of the Aarhus Convention 232
References 233
Part IV: An Example for Best Practises in Environmental Participation 237
Stefano Duglio / Maria Beatrice Pairotti / Riccardo Beltramo: Environmental Management: the Environmentally Equipped Industrial Area Model 239
Abstract 239
I. Introduction 239
II. Industrial Ecology and Eco Industrial Park (EIP) 240
III. Management of Industrial Areas in Italy 242
IV. Management of the EEIA 243
1. Environmental Management System (EMS): a Tool for the Management of the EEIA 243
2. From the EMS to the Environmental and Landscape Management System (ELMS) 245
V. Conclusions 246
References 247
Eva Julia Lohse: Comparative Conclusions from a German–Italian Dialogue on Participation 251
I. The Theoretical Framework for Environmental Rights: Substance or Procedure – Collective or Individual Interests 251
II. Implementation of Ecological Duties: the Legal Recognition of an ˋEcological Interest’ 254
III. Changes in Public Participation in Administrative Proceedings 255
IV. Changes in Public Participation in Court Proceedings 257
V. The Role of Individuals and NGOs in the Implementation of the AC 258
VI. The Effects of Three Legal Regimes 259
VII. To Conclude 260
List of Authors 261