Right to Court in Climate Matters in the Light of the Aarhus Convention and the Case Law of Polish Administrative Courts

Anna Kalisz

Abstract


Climate law is a fast-developing branch of law. It is regulated in a multi-centric way, since as a global issue, it needs systemic solutions that would be broader than national ones. Climate protection can also be achieved through the implementation of human rights, including the right to court. Thus, the multi-level regulation as a lex generalis is accompanied with a lex specialis regulation governing the right to court from a collective perspective and linked strictly with climate law under Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention. The theoretical and indirect aim of the article is to emphasise the relationship of environmental law in general and climate law in particular with human rights, using the example of the right to court. The direct and practical aim is to demonstrate in a horizontal manner the role of the Convention in the case law of the Polish Supreme Administrative Court. The essence of the problem is the finding of the lack of direct effect of the Convention, which weakens this protection. The article is of a scientific and research nature and the analysis of the previous case law may have cognitive value for practice. The first part provides a theoretical and legal outline of introductory issues, showing the links between human rights and climate law and the scope of application of the Aarhus Convention. The second part, concerning research materials and methods, contains an analysis of the provisions of Article 9 of the Convention made using the logical-linguistic method and teleological interpretation. The third part shows the results of the interpretation search carried out by the Supreme Administrative Court, some of them being widely accepted and some controversial. Polish administrative courts, when deciding on environmental matters under Polish administrative law, co-apply together with Polish national law the normative acts of European law, including the Aarhus Convention. However, the wording of its provisions precludes, according to the established case law, the possibility of their direct application, thus pointing to the importance of legislative actions, and administrative courts cannot substitute the legislature in this activity. It was noted in the conclusion that the implementation of the Convention is “generally correct”, which does not mean, however, that it implements the Aarhus-type principles in full and comprehensive.


Keywords


Aarhus Convention; climate protection; environmental law; climate law; human rights; administrative courts; case law

References


LITERATURE

Baran M., Dostęp do wymiaru sprawiedliwości w obszarze ochrony środowiska w państwach członkowskich, “Europejski Przegląd Sądowy” 2020, no. 11.

Duda A., Interes prawny w polskim prawie administracyjnym, Warszawa 2008.

Filipcova B., Polskie przepisy dotyczące dostępu do wymiaru sprawiedliwości w sprawach środowiskowych – analiza istniejących barier, “Europejski Przegląd Sądowy” 2020, no. 11.

Integracja zewnętrzna i wewnętrzna nauk prawnych, eds. M. Zirk-Sadowski, B. Wojciechowski, T. Bekrycht, part 1, Łódź 2014.

Iwańska B., Zróżnicowanie i ograniczenia w dostępie do wymiaru sprawiedliwości w sprawach ochrony środowiska. Uwagi na tle implementacji konwencji z Aarhus w prawie unijnym, “Europejski Przegląd Sądowy” 2020, no. 10.

Iwańska B., Baran M., Access of An Environmental Organisation to Court in Light of the EU Standard Set by the Principle of Effective Legal (Judicial) Protection, “European Energy and Environmental Law Review” 2019, vol. 28(2).

Kenig-Witkowska M., Prawo ochrony środowiska Unii Europejskiej. Zagadnienia systemowe, Warszawa 2011.

Klimatyczne ABC. Interdyscyplinarne podstawy współczesnej wiedzy o zmianie klimatu, eds. M. Budziszewska, A. Kardaś, Z. Bohdanowicz, Warszawa 2021.

Knade-Plaskacz A., Dostęp do wymiaru sprawiedliwości w sprawach dotyczących środowiska – transpozycja trzeciego filaru Konwencji z Aarhus do prawa Unii Europejskiej, “Przegląd Prawa Ochrony Środowiska” 2014, no. 1, DOI: https://doi.org/10.12775/PPOS.2014.009.

Przybojewska I., Trzeci filar konwencji z Aarhus oraz rola Komitetu ds. Przestrzegania Konwencji z Aarhus, “Europejski Przegląd Sądowy” 2020, no. 10.

Sikora A., Constitutionalisation of Environmental Protection in EU Law, Zutphen 2020.

Wierzbowski B., Rakoczy B., Prawo ochrony środowiska. Zagadnienia podstawowe, Warszawa 2018.

Wilson E., Konsiliencja. Jedność wiedzy, Poznań 2002.

ONLINE SOURCES

Handbook on European law relating to access to justice, www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Handbook_access_justice_ENG.pdf [access: 10.10.2021].

LEGAL ACTS

Act of 27 April 2001 – Environmental Protection Law (consolidated text, Journal of Laws 2020, item 1219).

Act of 21 June 2001 on the ratification of the Convention on Access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters (Journal of Laws 2001, no. 89, item 970).

Act of 3 October 2008 on the dissemination of information on the environment and its protection, public participation in environmental protection and on environmental impact assessments (Journal of Laws 2013, item 1235, as amended).

Act of 9 October 2015 amending the Act on the provision of information on the environment and its protection, public participation in environmental protection and on environmental impact assessments and on certain other acts (Journal of Laws 2015, item 1936).

Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997 (Journal of Laws 1997, no. 78, item 483, as amended).

Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, Aarhus, Denmark, 25 June 1998 (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2161, p. 447).

Council Decision 2005/370/EC of 17 February 2005 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters (OJ L 124/1, 17.05.2005).

Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC (OJ L 41/26, 14.02.2003).

Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC (OJ L 156/17, 25.06.2003).

Directive 2004/35/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (OJ L 143/56, 30.04.2004).

Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (OJ EU L 334/17, 17.12.2010).

Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (OJ EU L 26/1, 28.01.2012).

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November 1950 (ETS no. 005, as amended).

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 19 December 1966 (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 999, p. 171).

Regulation (EC) no. 1367/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 on the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Community institutions and bodies (OJ EU L 264/13, 25.09.2006).

Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon on 13 December 2007 (OJ C 306/1, 17.12.2007).

CASE LAW

Application in case Duarte Agostinho and others v. Portugal and 32 other States (application no. 39371/20) – communicated on 13 November 2020 (pending).

Communication of the Compliance Committee of 24 September 2010 concerning the United Kingdom, ACCC/C/2008/33/UK.

Communication of the Compliance Committee of 4 June 2014 concerning Germany, ACCC/C/2008/31/DE.

Decision of the SAC of 2 June 2005, II OZ 503/05.

Decision of the SAC of 7 December 2005, II OZ 1146/05.

Decision of the SAC of 2 February 2010, II OSK 40/10.

Judgement of the CJEU of 15 October 2009, C-263/08, Djurgården-Lilla, ECLI:EU:C:2009:631.

Judgement of the CJEU of 8 March 2011, C-240/09, Lesoochranárske zoskupenie VLK, ECLI:EU:C:2011:125.

Judgement of the CJEU of 12 May 2011, C-115/09, Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz, ECLI:EU:C:2011:289.

Judgement of the SAC of 11 April 2004, OSK 1151/04.

Judgement of the SAC of 16 May 2006, II OSK 129/06.

Judgement of the SAC of 3 July 2007, II OSK 163/07.

Judgement of the SAC of 9 August 2007, II OSK 763/07.

Judgement of the SAC of 6 November 2007, II OSK 1393/07.

Judgement of the SAC of 18 December 2009, II OSK 1539/09.

Judgement of the SAC of 15 April 2010, II OSK 645/09.

Judgement of the SAC of 11 May 2010, II OSK 464/09.

Judgement of the SAC of 16 March 2010, II OSK 540/09.

Judgement of the SAC of 1 June 2010, II OSK 920/09.

Judgement of the SAC of 23 February 2011, II OSK 2516/10.

Judgement of the SAC of 21 April 2011, II OSK 2103/10.

Judgement of the SAC of 21 April 2011, II OSK 2022/10.

Judgement of the SAC of 11 May 2011, II OSK 548/11.

Judgement of the SAC of 31 August 2012, II OSK 851/11.

Judgement of the SAC of 16 January 2013, II OSK 1706/11.

Judgement of the SAC of 3 October 2013, II OSK 1282/12.

Judgement of the SAC of 13 October 2013, II OSK 1274/12.

Judgement of the SAC of 4 December 2013, II GSK 1307/12.

Judgement of the SAC of 6 December 2013, II OSK 54/12.

Judgement of the SAC of 13 March 2014, II OSK 2489/12.

Judgement of the SAC of 19 November 2014, II OSK 1071/13.

Judgement of the SAC of 12 May 2015, II OSK 2036/13.

Judgement of the SAC of 24 June 2015, II OSK 2808/13.

Judgement of the SAC of 16 July 2015, II OSK 1044/15.

Judgement of the SAC of 1 October 2015, II OSK 896/15.

Judgement of the SAC of 13 January 2016, II OSK 1131/14.

Judgement of the SAC of 3 March 2016, II OSK 1674/14.

Judgement of the SAC of 6 April 2016, II OSK 1920/14.

Judgement of the SAC of 19 May 2016, II OSK 2189/14.

Judgement of the SAC of 20 May 2016, II OSK 2244/14.

Judgement of the SAC of 9 June 2016, II OSK 2415/14.

Judgement of the SAC of 28 July 2016, II OSK 1076/15.

Judgement of the SAC of 1 March 2017, II OSK 2859/16.

Judgement of the SAC of 22 August 2017, II OSK 2970/15.

Judgement of the SAC of 12 December 2017, II OSK 1523/16.

Judgement of the SAC of 19 January 2018, II OSK 833/16.

Judgement of the SAC of 19 January 2018, II OSK 1721/16.

Judgement of the SAC of 24 April 2018, II OSK 2743/17.

Judgement of the SAC of 28 August 2018, II OSK 2192/16.

Judgement of the SAC of 17 April 2019, II OSK 1479/17.

Judgement of the SAC of 8 May 2019, II OSK 652/19.

Judgement of the SAC of 23 July 2019, II OSK 2335/17.

Judgement of the SAC of 15 November 2019, II OSK 3276/17.

Judgement of the SAC of 3 December 2019, II OSK 3303/19.

Judgement of the SAC of 18 May 2020, II OSK 2710/19.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2021.30.5.275-293
Data publikacji: 2021-12-17 19:45:13
Data złożenia artykułu: 2021-04-19 17:28:56


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