Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/19385
Public participation and access to justice has gained increasing attention in international environmental law during recent years. The Aarhus Convention is the principal international agreement dealing with the matter, and it builds on three main elements; access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice. In 2002, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC) was established with the aim to review the compliance by parties to the Aarhus Convention. One of the main tasks of the ACCC is to receive communications regarding non-compliance by the parties to the Convention and recommend measures to be taken in order to improve compliance with the Convention.
The status of reports from the ACCC is not entirely clear. Most parties to the Convention, nevertheless, seem willing to improve public participation in line with recommendations from the ACCC, though there are exceptions, such as the EU’s unwillingness to change its practice regarding access to justice. It can also be noted that the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) has so far endorsed most of its reports. Not only are ACCC reports useful in connection to the compliance of specific parties, but they also provide valuable insights into the interpretation of the Convention.
The principal objective of this thesis is to assess if, and how, the compliance reports by the ACCC have affected the EU. The EU has, as a party to the Convention, accepted that the ACCC can review compliance with Aarhus and five reports have been adopted regarding actions by the EU. It is clear from ACCC reports that the division of competences between the EU and its Member States is an important issue in improving the EU’s compliance with the Convention. As the division of competences is not in all cases clear, uncertainties have resulted when the ACCC has sought to attribute responsibility for the implementation of the Convention.
Althought the EU has adopted extensive legislation to implement the Aarhus Convention it has not taken any legislative measures to improve its compliance as a result of ACCC reports directed towards it. There has, however, been continuous communication between the Committee and the EU, and the EU has in some cases strived to further implement the Convention through other measures. To what extent MOP decisions to endorse the ACCC’s findings affect actions by the EU remains to be seen.