Support to civil society

This activity is designed to increase the awareness, understanding and knowledge of CSOs, based on guidance materials and the provision of targeted trainings.

The guidance materials present CSO rights and opportunities, as well as avenues for access to justice according to the Aarhus Convention and the national legislation of the beneficiary countries.

Interactive multi-country trainings will be organised, based on the guidance materials, and will elucidate strategies and methods for using administrative and court procedures and other avenues, as well as overcoming barriers to access to justice.

In addition, the project will assist environmental CSOs in the beneficiary countries to identify problematic cases related to the third pillar of the Aarhus Convention, which will be presented and used in the trainings in the form of case studies.

CSO training in Albania

Environmental CSOs from Kosovo* and Albania gathered in Durres, Albania, on January 24 and 25, 2017, for a training on access to justice. The 25 organisations received comprehensive guidance on using administrative and court procedures and other avenues under the third pillar of the Aarhus Convention and national legislation. Local, regional and other case studies illustrating the most problematic issues related to access to justice in environmental matters were analysed, and major difficulties and gaps in the implementation of access to justice rights in Kosovo* and Albania were discussed.

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CSO training in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

A group of 19 environmental CSOs and judges met in Strumica on February 21 and 22, 2017, for a training on access to justice. The training provided comprehensive guidance on strategies and methods for using administrative and court procedures and other avenues under the third pillar of the Aarhus Convention and national legislation. During the training, local, regional and other relevant case studies illustrating the most problematic issues related to access to justice in environmental matters were analysed, and major difficulties and gaps in the implementation of access to justice rights in the country were discussed.

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CSO training in Bosnia and Herzegovina

A training on access to justice, providing comprehensive guidance on strategies and methods for using administrative and court procedures under the third pillar of the Aarhus Convention and national legislation took place on November 16-17, 2017 in Ilidža, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the presence of two Aarhus Convention Focal Points. The event gathered representatives of CSOs and lawyers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and notably through discussions on local cases and a Moot Court exercise, the event provided the opportunity to the participants to learn how to implement the provisions of the Aarhus Convention on access to justice in practice.

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User Guides for CSOs

Access to Justice under the Aarhus Convention User Guide is an easy-to-use guide for civil society organisations on the rights, opportunities and avenues for access to justice based on national legislation and the provisions of the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. It provides practical advice on litigation, the development and initiation of administrative and court procedures, the utilisation of the national ombudsman system, the Aarhus Compliance Committee, and more. It is based on the 2004 publication Implementation of the Aarhus Convention: A User Guide for Civil Society in the Eastern Europe and Caucasus Region, and the content is revised and adapted for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania.

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