45

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Policy area
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Date

Access to justice in environmental matters: Amending the Aarhus Regulation

23-09-2021

The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of ...

The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of the public. To address this non-compliance issue, on 14 October 2020 the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal to amend the Aarhus Regulation. The Council and Parliament adopted their positions on 17 December 2020 and 20 May 2021, respectively. Interinstitutional negotiations, launched on 4 June 2021, concluded on 12 July with a provisional agreement. The text, endorsed by Member States' ambassadors on 23 July, and by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on 1 September 2021, now awaits a vote in Parliament's plenary, planned for the October I session. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Justice programme 2021-2027

21-04-2021

In May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a new Justice programme as part of the new 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). An early second-reading agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue negotiations, which is now expected to be voted by Parliament during the April 2021 session.

In May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a new Justice programme as part of the new 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). An early second-reading agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue negotiations, which is now expected to be voted by Parliament during the April 2021 session.

Responsible private funding of litigation

04-03-2021

A responsible TPLF regulatory framework should aim at lowering costs, simplifying unnecessary procedures, increasing the predictability of costs, and delivering efficient services at costs that are proportionate to the amounts in dispute. We explored additional effective safeguards and a number of policy options regarding the contractual, ethical and procedural aspects of TPLF. We then estimated the European added value (EAV) for two alternatives, namely a moderate and a strong regulatory approach ...

A responsible TPLF regulatory framework should aim at lowering costs, simplifying unnecessary procedures, increasing the predictability of costs, and delivering efficient services at costs that are proportionate to the amounts in dispute. We explored additional effective safeguards and a number of policy options regarding the contractual, ethical and procedural aspects of TPLF. We then estimated the European added value (EAV) for two alternatives, namely a moderate and a strong regulatory approach scenario using a standard benefits-costs analytical conceptual framework.

CAN NATURE GET IT RIGHT? A Study on Rights of Nature in the European Context

01-03-2021

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, explores the concept of “Rights of Nature” (RoN) and its different aspects in legal philosophy and international agreements, as well as in legislation and case-law on different levels. The study delves on the ideas of rights of nature in comparison with rights to nature, legal personhood and standing in court for natural entities, and analyses ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, explores the concept of “Rights of Nature” (RoN) and its different aspects in legal philosophy and international agreements, as well as in legislation and case-law on different levels. The study delves on the ideas of rights of nature in comparison with rights to nature, legal personhood and standing in court for natural entities, and analyses ECtHR and CJEU case-law on access to justice in environmental decision-making. It emphasises, in particular, the need to strengthen the requirements for independent scientific evaluations in certain permit regimes under EU law. The study also highlights the crucial importance of promoting the role of civil society as watchdog over the implementation of EU environmental law by way of a wider access to justice via both the national courts and the CJEU, which is also in line with the political priorities for delivering the European Green Deal.

Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation - Options for the EU

24-04-2020

The European Parliament (EP) has repeatedly underlined the need for stronger European requirements for companies to prevent human rights abuses and environmental harm and to provide access to remedies for victims. The debate — both in the EU institutions and in several Member States — has intensified surrounding due diligence obligations for companies throughout the supply chain. In this context, the EP Human Rights Subcommittee (DROI) requested two briefings on specific human rights related issues ...

The European Parliament (EP) has repeatedly underlined the need for stronger European requirements for companies to prevent human rights abuses and environmental harm and to provide access to remedies for victims. The debate — both in the EU institutions and in several Member States — has intensified surrounding due diligence obligations for companies throughout the supply chain. In this context, the EP Human Rights Subcommittee (DROI) requested two briefings on specific human rights related issues it should consider while preparing its position. The first briefing in this compilation addresses substantive elements, such as the type and scope of human rights violations to be covered, as well as the type of companies that could be subject to a future EU regulation. The second briefing discusses options for monitoring and enforcement of due diligence obligations, as well as different ways to ensure access to justice for victims of human rights abuses. The briefings offer a concise overview and concrete recommendations, contributing to the ongoing debate and taking into account the research undertaken on behalf of the European Commission.

External author

Prof. Dr. Markus KRAJEWSKI, Beata FARACIK, Claire METHVEN O’BRIEN, Olga MARTIN-ORTEGA

Substantive Elements of Potential Legislation on Human Rights Due Diligence

24-04-2020

This briefing provides an overview of the existing legislative approaches to mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and proposals by non-state actors, concerning the scope of potential European Union (EU) legislation on binding human rights due diligence (HRDD) obligations for companies. The briefing discusses key substantive elements of potential EU HRDD legislation including options for human rights covered by the due diligence requirement; types of violations; specific references regarding women ...

This briefing provides an overview of the existing legislative approaches to mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and proposals by non-state actors, concerning the scope of potential European Union (EU) legislation on binding human rights due diligence (HRDD) obligations for companies. The briefing discusses key substantive elements of potential EU HRDD legislation including options for human rights covered by the due diligence requirement; types of violations; specific references regarding women and persons in vulnerable situations and the duties of companies to respect and protect human rights. It is recommended that a potential EU HRDD legislation should comprise all human rights and cover all types of violations. The legislation should refer to additional duties, which can be based on existing human rights treaties and instruments such as CEDAW, CRC, CRPD and UNDRIP. The legislation should cover all companies independently of their size and take a non-sector specific approach. Furthermore, the legislation should not apply solely to the company’s own activities, but also to its business relations including the value chain. Finally, the legislation should adopt a substantive due diligence model and require companies to engage actively in analysing, mitigating and remedying any adverse impacts on human rights based on their own activities and connected to them in their business relations.

External author

Prof. Dr. Markus KRAJEWSKI, Beata FARACIK

EU Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation: Monitoring, Enforcement and Access to Justice for Victims

24-04-2020

This briefing explores options for monitoring and enforcement of European Union (EU) human rights due diligence legislation, and how such legislation should contribute to access to justice and remedy for victims of human rights abuses linked to the operations of businesses inside or operating from Member States (MS). The briefing reviews existing due diligence and disclosure schemes and considers the feasibility of specific options for monitoring, enforcement and access to remedy within a future ...

This briefing explores options for monitoring and enforcement of European Union (EU) human rights due diligence legislation, and how such legislation should contribute to access to justice and remedy for victims of human rights abuses linked to the operations of businesses inside or operating from Member States (MS). The briefing reviews existing due diligence and disclosure schemes and considers the feasibility of specific options for monitoring, enforcement and access to remedy within a future EU due diligence law. The briefing recommends that such legislation should require effective monitoring via company-level obligations, national and EU-level measures, including repositories of due diligence reports, lists of companies required to report, information request procedures, monitoring bodies and delegated legislation or guidance further elaborating on due diligence under the law. Regarding enforcement, the law should inter alia require MS to determine appropriate penalties for non-compliance and to establish enforcement rights for interested parties. Finally, on remedy, the law should, besides requiring companies to establish complaint mechanisms, provide for national and EU measures, including requirements that MS ensure effective means of remedy and redress for victims and establish or identify bodies to investigate abuses, initiate enforcement and support victims.

External author

Claire METHVEN O’BRIEN, Olga MARTIN-ORTEGA

The role of constitutional courts, a comparative law perspective - Canada: The Supreme Court

23-07-2019

This study is part of a wider project investigating, from a comparative law perspective, the role of constitutional courts of different states. Following a brief historical introduction to the jurisdiction of the state in question, the various reports examine the composition, internal organization, functioning, jurisdiction of the various highest courts, as well as the right of access to its courtroom, its procedural rules, and the effects and the execution of its judgments. The present study examines ...

This study is part of a wider project investigating, from a comparative law perspective, the role of constitutional courts of different states. Following a brief historical introduction to the jurisdiction of the state in question, the various reports examine the composition, internal organization, functioning, jurisdiction of the various highest courts, as well as the right of access to its courtroom, its procedural rules, and the effects and the execution of its judgments. The present study examines Canada’s highest court, the Supreme Court. While all judicial courts may rule on constitutional matters, the Supreme Court of Canada enjoys a privileged status in the Canadian legal landscape. As the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, it has the final word with respect to constitutional interpretation, notably in constitutional matters. It thus plays a central role in Canada’s federal democracy.

External author

EPRS, Comparative Law

Access to legal remedies for victims of corporate human rights abuses in third countries

01-02-2019

European-based multinational corporations can cause or be complicit in human rights abuses in third countries. Victims of corporate human rights abuses frequently face many hurdles when attempting to hold corporations to account in their own country. Against this backdrop, judicial mechanisms have increasingly been relied on to bring legal proceedings in the home States of the corporations. This study attempts to map out all relevant cases (35 in total) filed in Member States of the European Union ...

European-based multinational corporations can cause or be complicit in human rights abuses in third countries. Victims of corporate human rights abuses frequently face many hurdles when attempting to hold corporations to account in their own country. Against this backdrop, judicial mechanisms have increasingly been relied on to bring legal proceedings in the home States of the corporations. This study attempts to map out all relevant cases (35 in total) filed in Member States of the European Union on the basis of alleged corporate human rights abuses in third countries. It also provides an in-depth analysis of 12 cases and identifies various obstacles (legal, procedural and practical) faced by claimants in accessing legal remedy. On the basis of these findings, it makes a number of recommendations to the EU institutions in order to improve access to legal remedies in the EU for victims of human rights abuses by European based companies in third countries.

External author

Dr. Axel Marx, Dr. Claire Bright, Prof. Dr. Jan Wouters, Ms. Nina Pineau, Mr. Brecht Lein, Mr. Torbjörn Schiebe, Ms. Johanna Wagner, Ms. Evelien Wauter

A Ten-Year-Long “EU Mediation Paradox”- When an EU Directive Needs To Be More …Directive

21-11-2018

Ten years since its adoption, the EU Mediation Directive remains very far from reaching its stated goals. This briefing summarises the main achievements and failures in the implementation at national level. In addition, it assesses the conclusions of previous research and of the European Parliament's resolution on the implmentation of the Mediation Directive.

Ten years since its adoption, the EU Mediation Directive remains very far from reaching its stated goals. This briefing summarises the main achievements and failures in the implementation at national level. In addition, it assesses the conclusions of previous research and of the European Parliament's resolution on the implmentation of the Mediation Directive.

External author

Giuseppe De Palo, Professor of Alternative Dispute Resolution Law and Practice at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St Paul, U.S.A

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