Opinion / Law / Industry

Advocate General: Access to justice for the “public concerned” is not dependent on the exercise of public participation rights

Posted On: 11 Sep 2020   |   Posted By: Client Earth

Advocate General Opinion in Case C‑826/18, Stichting Varkens in Nood
Advocate General Bobek has advised the Court to confirm that the Aarhus Convention, the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the Industrial Emissions Directive guarantee access to justice for the public concerned by a proposed activity, even if they did not take part in the preceding public participation procedure.
Background to the case
This case concerned a permit for the construction of a pigpen for 855 sows in the Netherlands, an activity subject to the public participation procedures contained in Article 6 of the Aarhus Convention, and falling within the scope of both the EIA and Industrial Emissions Directives. One individual and three environmental organisations, none of which had taken part in the preceding public participation procedure, challenged the permit.
The applicable national law allowed any member of the public to take part in the public participation procedure preceding the permit. By contrast, only...

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