Summary title: Petition 0024/2021 by S.B. (Italian) on an alleged violation of the right of access to justice in connection with environmental law in Italy
Petition number: 0024/2021
Topics: Environment - Pollution, Fundamental Rights, Justice, Health
Name: S. B.
The petitioner states that he has brought an action against the Municipality of Milan and the Lombardy Region before the Tribunale di Milano (Milan District Court) seeking compensation for the damage to his health caused by systematic, massive exceedances in the Lombardy Region of the limit values for PM10 laid down in Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality. The petitioner complains about a national judicial practice which in his view consists of denying individuals the right of access to justice in environmental matters or of making that right much more difficult to exercise. In particular, he refers to a number of judgments which he claims have held that the national authorities have unlimited discretion to take measures to achieve the objectives laid down by the air quality directives and to judgments declaring that courts have no jurisdiction. Finally, the petitioner claims that in the area of the criminal law as well there is a tendency not to prosecute public administrators and managers of local and regional authorities who may have committed offences. According to the petitioner, such practices have enabled local and regional authorities and their public administrators to secure a kind of ‘immunity’ from civil and criminal prosecution. He therefore calls on the European Parliament to take action to ensure that national courts uphold individuals’ right of access to justice in matters of EU environmental law and protection of the right to health.