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ACCC/C/2014/124 Netherlands

Case status: Findings adopted on 26.07.2021 – Non-compliance found.
Follow-up: On-going; see Decision VII/8m.
Topics: Definitions; Access to environmental information.
Articles alleged: 2 (3); 4, 4 (3) (c).
Articles considered by the Committee: 2 (3); 4 (1), 4 (3).
Articles, if any, found in non-compliance: 2 (3); 4 (1), 4 (3).
Summary: On 22 December 2014, non-governmental organization Stichting Greenpeace Netherlands submitted a communication to the Compliance Committee under the Convention alleging the failure by the Netherlands to comply with the Convention’s provisions on access to environmental information in connection with the permitting of two power plants. Specifically, the communicant claimed that the Party concerned failed to comply with its obligations under article 2 (3), in conjunction with articles 4 and 4 (3) (c) of the Convention by wrongly refusing access to information that has a direct effect on environmental decision-making and by falsely characterizing the information requested as “internal communications of public authorities”.

Documents Status Date received or
posted by the secretariat
Annex 1: Access to information request  DUT  ENG
From the communicant 22.12.2014
Email to inform parties that communication determined to be preliminarily admissible From the secretariat 09.04.2015
Letter to Party concerned enclosing preliminary determination of admissibility and forwarding communication for Party concerned's response  From the secretariat 28.06.2015
Email enclosing covering letter (dated 26.11.2015) and response to communication
Annex 1: Nature Conservancy Act
Annex 2: Act containing regulations governing public access to government information
Annex 3: Decision on objection of 15 August 2012 DUT
Annex 4a: Judgment of District Court of 18 July 2013 DUT
Annex 4b: Judgment of District Court of 18 July 2013 grounds 5-5.8 and 7-7.4.1 ENG
Annex 5a: Judgment of Council of State 16 July 2014 DUT
Annex 5b: Judgment of Council of State 16 July 2014 grounds 6.1-6.4 and 12.3 ENG
Annex 6: Environmental Management Act
Annex 7: Explanatory Memorandum
From the Party concerned 27.11.2015
Letter enclosing comments on Party concerned's response From the communicant 20.01.2016

Additional information

Annex: Decision on the objections of 15.08.2012

From the Party concerned 03.06.2016
Letters inviting the Party concerned and communicant to hearing at Committee's 54th meeting and enclosing provisional timeline  From the secretariat 31.08.2016
Opening statement for discussion at Committee's 54th meeting From the Party concerned 30.09.2016
Letter enclosing questions from the Committee to the Party concerned From the secretariat 05.10.2018

Covering letter and Reply to Committee’s questions
Annex A
Annex B1
Annex B2
Annex C
Annex D1
Annex D2

From the Party concerned 02.11.2018
Covering email enclosing judgement of District Court of 18 July 2013 From the Party concerned 22.11.2018
Update From the Party concerned 02.08.2019
Email inviting comments From the secretariat 23.08.2019
Comments on the update from the Party concerned From the communicant 13.09.2019
Comments on the communicant's comments of 13 September 2019 From the Party concerned 05.11.2019
Comments on the comments of the Party concerned of 5 November 2019 From the communicant 04.02.2020
Draft findings and letters to the Party concerned and communicant inviting their comments From the secretariat 14.06.2021
Comments on the Committee’s draft findings From the communicant 15.07.2021
Letter enclosing comments on the Committee’s draft findings From the Party concerned 23.07.2021
Findings ENG FRE RUS   26.07.2021