Annual EELF Conference 2016
Procedural Environmental Rights: Principle X
in Theory and Practice
14-16 September 2016
Wrocław, Poland

The 2016 Annual European Environmental Law Forum (EELF) Conference was held in Wrocław (Poland),European Cultural Capital 2016 (Law Faculty of the Wrocław University, 7-10, Uniwersytecka St.).

The Conference was organized as a joint effort of the European Environmental Law Forum (EELF) and the Faculty of Law of Wrocław University in co-operation with Environmental Law Center, Wrocław, the law firm Jendrośka Jerzmański Bar & Partners Environmental Lawyers and the Faculty of Law of the Opole University.

The Wroclaw Conference was dedicated to Procedural Environmental Rights of the public. The importance of procedural rights is currently widely recognised. They serve not only as a guarantee of the right to environment and a tool to increase participatory democracy and active involvement of the public in environmental protection but also as an effective instrument of monitoring compliance with - and enforcement of - environmental law. Following recognition of their importance, procedural environmental rights have increasingly been acknowledged in legal frameworks at the national, supranational and international level. The first comprehensive approach to procedural environmental rights at the international level was undertaken when access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters were codified as non-binding principles in Principle X of the Rio Declaration. The binding international standard in relation to procedural environmental rights was set with the adoption in 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus of the UNECE Convention on access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters (Aarhus Convention). Since then a number of legal instruments regulating procedural environmental rights have been developed at the national, supranational and international level.
The Conference aimed to collect and compare the experience gained with the adoption and implementation of the procedural environmental rights under these various legal instruments.


Time of one presentation - 20 min.

14 September 2016 (Wednesday)

8.00 - 9.00 - Registration of participants
9.00 - 9.30 - Opening: welcome addresses, introduction to the conference topics and organizational matters

9.30 - 11.30 - Plenary session I - chair: Moritz Reese

  1. Procedural environmental rights: towards integrated conceptual framework - Sandor Fullop
  2. Procedural environmental rights: current status, recent trends and key challenges - Jerzy Jendrośka
  3. Developing Standards for Procedural Environmental Rights Through Practice: The Guide to the Bali Guidelines on Rio Principle 10 - Stephen Stec
  4. Procedural rights of public participation in environmental matters: Compendium, challenges and chances globally - Volker Mauerhofer

11.30 - 12.00 - coffee break

12.00 - 13.20 - Breakout parallel sessions:

(Session A) Public participation - key procedural elements - chair: Sandor Fulop

  1. Legal mechanisms for public participation in environmental decisions - Yelena M. Gordeeva, Nikolay Kichigin, Oleksandra Chornous
  2. Reasonable time-frames in legal framework of environmental impact assessment in the European Union, European Free Trade Association and Southern African Development Community - Leila Neimane

(Session B) Procedural environmental rights and environmental assessment (part I) - chair: Stephen Stec

  1. (Dis)advantages of EIA in the multi-stage decision making process - Petra Humlíčková, Vojtěch Vomáčka
  2. Public participation in EIA in China: strengths, weaknesses and lessons learned - Mariachiara Alberton
  3. Public participation procedure in the draft EIA law in Ukraine in the light of the existing situation and the international requirements - Wiktoria Raczyńska

(Session C) Procedural environmental rights in the transboundary context - chair: Piotr Otawski

  1. Procedural environmental rights of local communities in transboundary protected areas: how to effectively strengthen transboundary biodiversity governance - Emma Mitrotta
  2. Procedural environmental rights in the transboundary context: Aarhus vs Espoo legal regimes - Magdalena Bar

13.20 - 14.20 - lunch

14.20 - 16.00 - Breakout parallel sessions:

(Session D) Procedural environmental rights and environmental assessment (part II) - chair: Hendrik Schoukens

  1. The right of access to justice against a strategic environmental assessment and an environmental impact assessment - Wouter Poelmans
  2. Use of bounding conditions envelope concept in the Polish system of environmental impact assessments - Maciej Stryjecki, Dominik Gajewski, Paweł Grabowski, Mariusz Wójcik
  3. The final decision in the environmental impact assessment procedure in Ukraine as a multilateral agreement - Taras Tretyak
  4. Environmental Impact Assessments of Wind Energy Investments. Procedural rights of the public - Kamila Sobieraj

(Session E) Procedural environmental rights and decision-making processes in specific fields - chair: Zaneta Mikosa

  1. A critical evaluation of the use of top-down approach and bottom-up public participation decision making approach using Navitus Bay Wind Park Development as a case study - Rupert Cope, Tilak Ginige
  2. Participation and the large-scale projects - Empirical assessment of current law and practices - Jukka Similä
  3. The 'participatory' authorisation process for GMOs: between aspiration and reality - Birgit Hollaus

(Session F) Procedural environmental rights and decision-making processes in energy sector - chair: Marcin Stoczkiewicz

  1. The right of public participation in the decision-making process of renewable energy projects in China - Yankun Zhao
  2. Public participation in the development of off-shore wind farms - Birgitte Egelund Olsen
  3. Public participation in biofuels voluntary certification schemes decision-making - Sandra Nóbrega
  4. Public participation for infrastructure planning in Germany ‘Stuttgart 21’, legislative action, and first empirical experience: sectoral planning for electricity grids - Wolfgang Köck

16.00 - 16.20 - coffee break

16.20 - 17.40 - Breakout parallel sessions:

(Session G) Procedural environmental rights - cross-cutting issues - chair: Chris Backes

  1. “Monopoly” of enforcement of environmental law and broad access to justice rights - Zaneta Mikosa
  2. Procedural environmental rights contextualised: the rationales of access to justice - Agnes Eklund
  3. Public participation in environmental law enforcement: a comparison of procedural rights in the criminal and the administrative sanctioning tracks - Carole M. Billiett

(Session H) Procedural environmental rights - lessons learned from the practice - chair: Jan Darpö

  1. High Speed Two (HS2) Railway Project: Off the rails or on the right track? Are Public Participation Procedural Rights truly Effective? - Tilak Ginige, Merve Demir
  2. Sustainable development in the ILVA case: can it really help? - Nicola Lugaresi
  3. Impact of ecological QUANGOs on the execution of environmental law in Poland - Piotr Chmielewski

(Session I) Special Issue Launch Session “Legal Aspects of Sustainable Development” Journal Land Use Policy 2016, Volume 52 - chair: Volker Mauerhofer

  1. The development of the Japanese legal system for public participation in land use and environmental matters - Noriko Okubo
  2. Public participation in environmental governance in the Philippines: The challenge of consolidation in engaging the state - Weena Gera
  3. Judicial perspectives from the European Union for Public Participation in Environmental Matters in East Asia - Volker Mauerhofer

20.00 - conference dinner

15 September 2016 (Thursday)

9.00 - 11.15 - Plenary session II - chair: Jerzy Jendrośka

  1. The interaction between the Aarhus Convention and EU law - Jan Darpö
  2. To legislate or not to legislate? Rethinking the “effective protection of environmental rights” in the Union: reflections on different methods to improve the system of environmental litigation - Franziska Grashof, Mariolina Eliantonio, Chris Backes
  3. Hamsters cannot go to court (or can they?): towards a legally enforceable duty to avoid extinction under EU Nature Conservation Law? - Hendrik Schoukens
  4. Who is not to have an interest – on the criteria for standing for individuals - Helle Tegner Anker
  5. Recognition of rights of Nature, as a subject of law, in the International Environmental Law Framework - Santiago Vallejo Galarraga

11.15 - 11.35 - coffee break

11.35 - 13.20 - Breakout parallel sessions:

(Session J) Procedural environmental rights and climate change - chair: Jan Glazewski

  1. Access to environmental information and climate science: a necessary but underexplored connection - Marjan Peeters
  2. Access to information and the Paris Agreement - Delphine Misonne
  3. International Climate Change Law in Domestic Courts: A New Trend of Cases for Boosting Principle X of the Rio Declaration? - Esmeralda Colombo
  4. Access to justice in climate change litigation from transnational perspective: the standing of private persons and NGOs in recent climate cases - Samvel Varvaštian

(Session K) Procedural environmental rights in courts and quasi-judicial bodies (part I) - chair: Helle Tegner Anker

  1. Procedural environmental rights in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and their impact on Criminal Procedure Law - Robert Esser
  2. The Effectiveness of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee’s action after the first and second Spanish Case: Access To Justice Rights In Spain - Eduardo Salazar Ortuño
  3. Access to justice in international judicial and quasi-judicial procedures – the Case for Strengthening Procedural Rights of Environmental NGOs - Cathrin Zengerling

(Session L) Procedural environmental rights - country perspectives (part I) - chair: Wolfgang Köck

  1. Main ways and obstacles to effective public participation in Russian Federation related to implementation of the Espoo Convention and the Protocol on SEA - Yulia Dolinina
  2. Public participation in environmentally decisions at municipal level in the Russian Federation: legislative mechanisms and realization practice. Communicative practice of green democracy: involvement, collaboration, confrontation, conflict, rejection - Timur Melnik
  3. Special provisions on the issuance of environmental decisions provided in sectoral legislation in Poland - Sergiusz Urban

13.20 - 14.15 - lunch

14.15 - 15.35 - Breakout parallel sessions:

(Session M) Procedural environmental rights in courts and quasi-judicial bodies (part II) - chair: Charles-Hubert Born

  1. Equals not so much: procedural environmental rights and the right to environment before the EU Court of Justice - Ilina Cenevska
  2. The future of a decentralized defence of the public interest. Plaumann test and the Aarhus Convention - Matthijs van Wolferen
  3. The EU in breach of the Aarhus Convention - Anaïs Berthier

(Session N) Procedural environmental rights - country perspectives (part II) - chair: Barbara Kowalczyk

  1. Procedural Environmental Rights in the legislation of the Slovak Republic - instruments enforcing the concept of the Right to a favourable Environment - Michal Maslen
  2. Social participation threatened by economic development: Brasilian current reality against the national legal principles and the Principle X of the Rio Declaration - Mayara Ferrari Longuini, Rafael Junqueira Buralli
  3. Omission of Public Participation or Defective Public Participation in Decision Making-Processes on Environmental Matters: Legal Implications in the Spanish State and the Basque Country - María del Carmen Bolaño, Iñaki Lasagabaster

(Session O) Procedural environmental rights and water management (part I) - chair: Valerie Fogleman

  1. Comparative analysis of the role of public participation in water management in India and UK - Jaspreet Kaur, Tilak Ginige
  2. In search for a balance between participation and compliance: a case study to English and Dutch surface water quality - Ernst Plambeck
  3. Access to Justice in the field of Water Management - Moritz Reese

15.35 - 16.00 - coffee break

16.00 - 17.40 - Breakout parallel sessions:

(Session P) Procedural environmental rights and water management (part II) - chair: Tilak Ginige

  1. Legal aspects of public participation in the ecosystem-based water management in the Baltic Sea Region - Maciej Nyka
  2. Participatory rights of indigenous peoples within the Arctic Council to safeguard marine biodiversity - Margherita Paola Poto

(Session R) Access to environmental information (part I) - chair: Jerzy Supernat

  1. Economic and electronic barriers of the access to information and public participation in environmental matters - Milan Damohorský
  2. Access to information in the context of development activities in the legal framework of Cameroon - Jean Claude Ashukem
  3. Public authorities enforced to supply information on environmental issues and the adaptation to the transparency and good governance law in Spain - José Ignacio Cubero Marcos
  4. Access to environmental information in EU and in Italy: towards a good administration - Giovanna Mastrodonato

(Session S) Procedural environmental rights in international law - chair: Delphine Misonne

  1. Application of Principle 10: Developments in Asia - Noriko Okubo
  2. Definitions of the Aarhus Convention v. the proposal for a new Latin America and the Caribbean instrument: mapping the differences in the material scope of procedural environmental rights in international law - Juliana Zuluaga Madrid
  3. Role of the public in implementing international obligations on the example of Preparation of National Commitments to the Paris Climate Conference: Leverage or Hindrance of Domestic Public - Sébastien Duyck
  4. The development of the European Environmental Law through the Article 37 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: a choice between an empty shell and a test tube? - Marco Túlio Reis Magalhães
  5. Transparency, public participation and access to justice in international environmental law and governance: a comparative study of international fora - Joanna Cornelius

16 September 2016 (Friday)

9.00 - 11.00 - Breakout parallel sessions:

(Session T) Access to environmental information (part II) - chair: Esmeralda Colombo

  1. The application of the rights of access to information in the context of pollution: A perspective from South Africa - Jan Glazewski
  2. Trade secrets and environmental law. A matter of course - Flaminia Stârc-Meclejan
  3. The protection of confidential commercial or industrial information in environmental law: Analysis and call for a graded concept of protection - Kurt Fassbender
  4. Access to environmental information in Europe and in Brazil: the realization of the fundamental right to participate - Ana Clara Discacciati
  5. Duty to disclosure and pollution of lands: who is obliged and who is entitled to be informed? - Marta Silvia Cenini

(Session U) Access to justice - standing and scope of review - chair: Luc Lavrysen

  1. Standing of private parties aiming to ensure species protection before the Dutch courts: recent developments in legislation and case law - Jennifer Dubrulle
  2. Access to justice in a right-based system - Verena Madner
  3. The status and procedural rights of NGOs and individuals in Polish environmental cases - Bolesław Matuszewski
  4. The scope of review in the environmental-related judicial proceedings-Tensions between effective judicial protection and national procedural autonomy - Vasiliki Karageorgou

(Session W) Access to justice - country perspectives - chair: Noriko Okubo

  1. Unfair access to justice for environmental NGOs under German Law? The criteria for recognition as a “requirement under national law” for access to justice for environmental NGOs in the light of the Aarhus Convention - Daniel Lamfried
  2. Access to environmental justice in Spain: State of the art. - Miriam Ruiz Arias
  3. Access to Environmental Justice in India: Innovation and Change - Gitanjali Nain Gill
  4. Environmental monitoring data as electronic evidence in court - Oleksandra Chornous

(Session Z) Procedural environmental rights - approaches and criteria - chair: Bernard Vanheusden

  1. Environmental Rule of Law – a panacea for procedural environmental rights? - Loretta Feris
  2. Rule of Law and the judicial obligation to give reasons in environmental disputes - Niko Soininen
  3. A procedural justice approach to public participation - Andrea Keessen
  4. Public participation in the environmental and planning normative process: the ultimate bastion? - Charles-Hubert Born
  5. Access to environmental information, public participation and access to justice - Pascal Mallien

11.00 - 11.30 - coffee break

11.30 - 12.30/13.00 - Plenary session III - chair: Peter Darak

  1. Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. Perspectives from the EU Forum of Judges for the Environment - Luc Lavrysen
  2. Concluding remarks - Sandor Fulop
  3. Discussion
  4. Announcement of the next EELF Conference

End of the Conference

12.30 - 13.00 - lunch

15.00 - 18.00 - City guided tour (free of charge)

17 September 2016 (Saturday)

9.00 - 14.00 - Excursion to the Barycz Valley and Milicz Ponds Area, guided by an ornithologist and naturalist (subject to additional fee of EUR 50)
More information about the excursion and the visited region - see here

The call for papers is now closed - see archive

Logistical information - see archive

Organizing Committee

  • Jerzy Jendrośka, Ph.D - Partner at Jendrośka Jerzmański Bar and Partners, Director of European Environmental Law Post-Graduate Studies at Opole University, formerly vice-chair of the Aarhus Convention negotiations and Chair of the Bureau, currently member of the Aarhus Compliance Committee
  • Magdalena Bar, Esq - Partner at Jendrośka Jerzmański Bar and Partners, Vice-President of the Environmental Law Center
  • Barbara Kowalczyk, Ph.D - Acting Chair of Environmental Law, Wrocław University

Contact person: Magdalena Bar,

Jendro¶ka Jerzmański Bar i Wspólnicy. Prawo gospodarcze i ochrony ¶rodowiska. Sp. z o.o. |