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Two Years in the Life: The Pioneering Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee 2004–2006

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The UNECE's Aarhus Convention is widely considered as a leading light in the area of environmental democracy. Its Compliance Committee is similarly innovative, being the first multilateral environmental agreement to allow members of the public to trigger its compliance procedure. In February 2004 the first case by a member of the public seeking a review of a State Party's compliance was submitted to the Compliance Committee. Since then a further fifteen cases from members of the public have been received. This paper contains a review of the Compliance Committee's pioneering work over the last two years. The paper begins with a brief background on the Aarhus Convention. It then describes the structure and modus operandi of the Compliance Committee. The cases brought before the Committee to date are then discussed, including where relevant the Committee's findings and recommendations and the Meeting of the Parties' decisions. The paper ends with observations drawn from the Committee's case work thus far.


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