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Direct Public Access to EU Courts: Upholding Public International Law via the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee

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This article examines the opportunities for individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to obtain access to justice in the European Union (EU) via international law. In the context of the first part of a concluded case before the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC), it reviews the EU rules that restrict standing and examines whether the preliminary reference procedure from Member State courts provides an effective alternative to direct access to EU courts. Based on the general findings and recommendations, and analysis of the relationship between international and EU law, it is argued that there remains a need for greater EU compliance with the Convention, with the implication that EU primary as well as secondary law may need to be reformed if public international law obligations are to be fully met.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Dean (Research), Associate Professor in Law, School of Law, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, URL:


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