Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, 1998


The Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, commonly known as the Aarhus Convention, is an international agreement that was adopted on June 25, 1998, in Aarhus, Denmark. The convention aims to promote environmental democracy by ensuring that the public has access to information, can participate in decision-making processes, and has access to justice in environmental matters.

The Aarhus Convention has three main pillars:

  1. Access to Information: The convention recognizes the importance of access to environmental information held by public authorities. It establishes the right of individuals and organizations to request and receive information on environmental matters, subject to certain exceptions for protection of confidentiality, national security, and private interests.
  2. Public Participation in Decision-Making: The convention emphasizes the involvement of the public in environmental decision-making processes. It promotes public participation in the development of policies, plans, and programs relating to the environment, as well as in the assessment of proposed activities with potential environmental impacts.
  3. Access to Justice: The Aarhus Convention ensures that individuals and groups have access to administrative and judicial procedures to challenge decisions that affect the environment. It provides for the right to review procedures and the right to appeal to a court of law. It also establishes requirements for access to justice, including provisions on standing, costs, and time limits.

The Aarhus Convention applies to environmental matters and covers a wide range of issues, including pollution, biodiversity, climate change, land use planning, and genetically modified organisms. It is open for participation by both countries and regional economic integration organizations.

The convention has been ratified by numerous countries and has had a significant impact on national legislation and policies related to environmental governance. It has also influenced the development of other international agreements and initiatives promoting transparency, public participation, and access to justice in environmental decision-making.

Overall, the Aarhus Convention seeks to strengthen democratic principles in the field of environmental protection by ensuring that the public has the necessary tools and rights to actively engage in environmental decision-making processes and hold governments accountable for their actions.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *