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The European Union should enable individuals and campaign groups can go to the Court of Justice of the EU to challenge environmental decisions from EU bodies, a United Nations panel said.

The Compliance Committee of the UN Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters said the EU “fails to comply” with a provision of the convention under which individuals should be able to take environmental decisions to court in a way that is “fair, equitable, timely and not prohibitively expensive.” The committee issued its finding March 17.

The Aarhus Convention establishes certain rights for individuals, companies and groups to question environmental decisions from regulatory authorities.

At present, the law that implements the Aarhus Convention for environmental decisions from EU bodies (the Aarhus Regulation, (EC) No. 1367/2006) allows only decisions that are addressed to a specific company or organisation to be challenged by that company or organisation. It does not allow individuals or environmental groups to challenge decisions of “general scope,” meaning decisions that potentially could affect many individuals or a large number of organisations.

By Stephen Gardner. Read the article in full at

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