The Judicial Colloquium “SDG16: Role of Judiciary in Promoting the Rule of Law in Environmental Matters” took place in Geneva, Palais des Nations (Salle VII) from 27 February 2019 to 28 February 2019 back-to-back with the meeting of the Convention's Task Force on Access to Justice.
The event was convened by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Special Procedures, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, Global Judicial Institute on the Environment, European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment and Association of European Administrative Judges. The event gathered representatives of judiciary, judicial training institutions, other review bodies and experts from 30 countries of the pan-European region and beyond.
The objective of the Colloquium was to strengthen capacity of judiciary to effectively handle cases related to environmental matters and to apply constitutionally-entrenched environmental rights thereby supporting attainment of target 16.3 of Sustainable Development Goal 16 on promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensuring equal access to justice for all that will undergo in-depth review in 2019. The meeting also addressed the role of the Aarhus Convention in this context, the linkages between the Aarhus Convention and other UNECE Multilateral Environmental Agreements (Espoo Convention and the SEA Protocol, Water Convention and the Protocol on Water and Health, Air Convention and Industrial Accidents Convention) in enforcing environmental law in the context of environmental constitutionalism and sustainable development.
The Colloquium was organized pursuant to decision VI/3 (ENG, FRE, RUS) adopted by the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention. The decision welcomed the establishment of a network of the judiciary, judicial training institutions and other review bodies in the pan-European region under the auspices of the Convention’s Task Force on Access to Justice to promote the exchange of experiences in access to justice and the enforcement of the rule of law in environmental matters and invited other such networks to participate in this initiative. The event also contributed to a global programme, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme, aimed at enhancing judicial capacity in environmental constitutionalism.
The preliminary programme and background documents are provided below.
The outcomes of the Judicial Colloquium informed the 2019 Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region and its round table "Empowering People to Protect the Planet - the Environmental Dimension of SDG 16" (Geneva, 21 and 22 March 2019).
For more information about the event, please contact the secretariat [email protected]