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Public Access to Justice in European Union Member States

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Public Access to Justice in European Union Member States

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

The aim of this report is to determine whether there exists a difference in the public access to justice between several member states of the European Union. The report examines the judicial structures of three member states, along with the circumstances surrounding the access to the courts. A case study is made for each country to examine how judges review EU policy. The three countries examined are Spain, Belgium and the UK, the focus is on the jurisdiction of England and Wales. The central question of this report is: Is there a difference in the public access to justice between member states?
Throughout the existence of the European Union (EU), the environment has become an important topic. As a response to the climate change and warming of the planet the EU has created environmental policies on matters such as air quality, biodiversity, natural habitat conservation and clean water. The 27 member states are obliged to implement most policies into national law. Most EU environmental legislation is passed in the form of a directive. Directives set out certain goals that need to be met by each member state. The member state must adopt the directive and implement it into national law. The EU is a global leader when it comes to environmental law. Besides its own policies, the EU is also part of international environmental agreements such as the Aarhus Convention.
The Aarhus Convention was adopted in 1998 and came into force in 2001. The convention establishes rights and obligation concerning the environment. The rights established for individuals and associations are provided through three pillars namely: access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice. (Europa, n.d.)
The EU member states are obliged to implement the provisions of the convention into national law. The focus in this report is on the third pillar of the convention, access to justice.
The Spanish judicial system is made up of different ranking courts in each autonomous community. The public administration of Spain is made up of three levels, the general administration of the state, the administration of the autonomous communities, and the local administration. The administrative procedure is dictated in Law 30/1992 on administrative procedure (Ley 30/1992, de Régimen Jurídico de las Administraciones Públicas y del Procedimiento Administrativo Comun.) Law 27/2006 provides the terms under which the public has access to the courts in environmental matters. After the Aarhus Convention came into force, the Spanish government implemented the provisions with law 27/2006.
The U.K. is divided into three judicial jurisdictions: Northern Ireland and England and Wales. This paper will focus on the jurisdiction of England and Wales. The U.K. is one of the few countries that do not have a written constitution. Or rather, the constitution is not written in one single document as is seen in for example Spain or Belgium. In matters concerning the environment and spatial planning, the British public use judicial review to gain access to the courts. Judicial review is the procedure a member of the general public uses to challenge a decision, action or omission by a public authority, terms of standing are set in the CPR part 54.
The Belgian court system was very much influenced by the French system. The French system is based on the system of the civil law tradition. Belgium is divided into five judicial areas all with their own autonomous powers. In Belgium the Council of State and the civil courts handle the administrative procedure.
The three case studies of this report are all on an environmental matters brought to the court by an NGO. The search criteria for a case were: an environmental matter, a spatial planning issue and it had to involve a public authority.
The aim of this report is to determine whether there exists a difference in the public access to justice between several member states of the European Union. The report examines the judicial structures of three member states, along with the circumstances surrounding the access to the courts. A case study is made for each country to examine how judges review EU policy. The three countries examined are Spain, Belgium and the UK, the focus is on the jurisdiction of England and Wales. The central question of this report is: Is there a difference in the public access to justice between member states?
Throughout the existence of the European Union (EU), the environment has become an important topic. As a response to the climate change and warming of the planet the EU has created environmental policies on matters such as air quality, biodiversity, natural habitat conservation and clean water. The 27 member states are obliged to implement most policies into national law. Most EU environmental legislation is passed in the form of a directive. Directives set out certain goals that need to be met by each member state. The member state must adopt the directive and implement it into national law. The EU is a global leader when it comes to environmental law. Besides its own policies, the EU is also part of international environmental agreements such as the Aarhus Convention.
The Aarhus Convention was adopted in 1998 and came into force in 2001. The convention establishes rights and obligation concerning the environment. The rights established for individuals and associations are provided through three pillars namely: access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice. (Europa, n.d.)
The EU member states are obliged to implement the provisions of the convention into national law. The focus in this report is on the third pillar of the convention, access to justice.
The Spanish judicial system is made up of different ranking courts in each autonomous community. The public administration of Spain is made up of three levels, the general administration of the state, the administration of the autonomous communities, and the local administration. The administrative procedure is dictated in Law 30/1992 on administrative procedure (Ley 30/1992, de Régimen Jurídico de las Administraciones Públicas y del Procedimiento Administrativo Comun.) Law 27/2006 provides the terms under which the public has access to the courts in environmental matters. After the Aarhus Convention came into force, the Spanish government implemented the provisions with law 27/2006.
The U.K. is divided into three judicial jurisdictions: Northern Ireland and England and Wales. This paper will focus on the jurisdiction of England and Wales. The U.K. is one of the few countries that do not have a written constitution. Or rather, the constitution is not written in one single document as is seen in for example Spain or Belgium. In matters concerning the environment and spatial planning, the British public use judicial review to gain access to the courts. Judicial review is the procedure a member of the general public uses to challenge a decision, action or omission by a public authority, terms of standing are set in the CPR part 54.
The Belgian court system was very much influenced by the French system. The French system is based on the system of the civil law tradition. Belgium is divided into five judicial areas all with their own autonomous powers. In Belgium the Council of State and the civil courts handle the administrative procedure.
The three case studies of this report are all on an environmental matters brought to the court by an NGO. The search criteria for a case were: an environmental matter, a spatial planning issue and it had to involve a public authority.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
OpleidingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
AfdelingAcademie voor European Studies & Communication
Jaar2011
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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