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On the Bright Side (of the EU’s Janus Face)The EU Commission’s Notice on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

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In April 2017, the EU Commission published a “Notice on Access to Justice in Environmental Matters”, laying down the views of Brussels on this hot topic. The Notice takes stock of the dynamic development of the CJEU’s case law on the matter and draws cautious conclusions from this jurisprudence. This article is both an introductory and a short comment on the Notice. The main reasoning and conclusions drawn in the document are described, and then a couple of key issues are highlighted and discussed. All in all, evaluation of the Notice is positive, as it represents a rather big step forward compared with previous standpoints from Brussels. In this way, the Notice consolidates the impression that the EU is furnished with a Janus face concerning access to justice in environmental matters. It is very positive and affirming concerning legal challenges to administrative decision-making in national courts on the one hand, but very strict and of a rejecting nature when dealing with direct action to the CJEU on the other.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Law, Uppsala Universitet,


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