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Thirteenth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice under the Aarhus Convention

15 - 16 February 2021
Palais des Nations, Geneva Switzerland

The thirteenth meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice will take place from 15 to 16 February 2021 in a hybrid format.  

The meeting will provide a platform for exchanging information, experiences and good practices with regard to key recent developments in the implementation of the access to justice pillar of the Convention and possible measures to remove barriers hampering its implementation. It will thereby support the implementation of environmental dimension of Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its target 16.3 (Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all) that undergo in-depth review in 2021.

The thematic session of the meeting will focus on promoting public interest litigation in environmental matters. The Task Force will identify good practices, barriers, challenges, innovative approaches, priority actions and needs in this area. In addition, delegates will continue the discussion on measures to promote effective access to justice in information cases and cases relating to air quality. Delegates also will take stock of recent and upcoming developments related to the implementation of the third pillar of the Convention on a general level.

Organization of work

Due to the limited availability of interpretation for remote participation, organization of work will be the following:

15 February 2021, Monday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2 – 4 p.m.
16 February 2021, Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2 – 4 p.m.

Each session will feature 3-4 brief introductory presentations sharing experiences of the Parties to the Convention and stakeholders related to the agenda items followed by contributors’ interventions and discussion. Interpretation in English, French and Russian will be provided.

The delegates who are interested to make a presentation or statement at the meeting are kindly invited to contact the secretariat (public.participation[at] as soon as possible, preferably by 1 February 2021, briefly outlining the focus of the presentation with relation to the agenda items.  

The provisional list of speakers will be released shortly before the meeting. 


  • The meeting will be held in a hybrid format with remote and on-site participation (subject to the below considerations).  
  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, infection control measures and travel restrictions prevent or limit Parties from physically participating in meetings. For participants from several countries different restrictions and quarantine rules have been introduced, and are changing, please check this website for update:… .
  • Regretfully, due to travel restrictions, the secretariat will not be in a position to facilitate visa arrangements or provide financial support for participation.
  • If representatives of Governments and stakeholders are not be able to arrive to Geneva at the time of the meeting, they are kindly requested to inform the secretariat (public.participation[at] and participate in the meeting remotely.
  • Representatives of Governments and stakeholders will be able to speak and listen remotely, provided that they ensure stable internet connection and provision of other required technical means (microphones, earphones etc) on their side. For technical requirements, please consult the following Guide on Interprefy. Link to the meeting will be sent to the registered participants about one week prior to the meeting. If you registered and have not received the link 2 days before the meeting, please ask the secretariat (public.participation[at]  
  • There are current restrictions regarding the number of participants allowed on-site for the meeting, which are subject to the measures to be implemented by UNOG at the time of the meeting. Until further notice, only in-person meetings of five participants are allowed at the premises of the United Nations Office at Geneva. It is currently unclear whether this measure will be lifted before 15 February 2021. Therefore, an up-dated information regarding onsite participation will be provided closer to the meeting.
  • For additional enquiries about the meeting, please contact the secretariat at public.participation[at] (subject line: 13TFAJ request).

For all participants attending in person

  • Please check all requirements regarding medical and other relevant insurance prior to the travel. Please be informed that any medical, quarantine or other possible expenses will be borne by your Organisation and/or insurance, as the United Nations do not take any responsibility for possible consequences of the present COVID-19 situation.
  • Please consult the information on COVID-19 for meeting participants at United Nations Office in Geneva here



All participants are requested to register online as soon as possible but no later than 26 January 2021 through the following link:  

UN Office at Geneva has a new system for online registration - INDICO. You are kindly requested to create a new meeting participant profile since the new database is not connected to the previous system. Please find the guidelines for registering through INDICO here.  

We recommend using Firefox or Google Chrome browser only for the online meeting registration. In case of difficulties you may refer to the enclosed guidelines for registering through INDICO or contact the secretariat (public.participation[at] directly.  

Please ensure that you provide us with your contacts (e.g. post address, phone number, email address) which can be made publicly available through the list of participants.  
When registering, please select participation type to indicate whether you plan to attend in-person or participate remotely. If you plan to come to Palais des Nations, please provide your mobile phone number through the registration form. If you will not be in a position to attend the meeting in person at the end, please inform the secretariat (public.participation[at]  

To ensure that you receive all important correspondence about the meeting and we can make the required practical and other arrangements on time, we urge Representatives of Governments and stakeholders to register online as soon as possible, even if you hold UNOG ground entry pass.


Provisional agenda and other meeting documents are available below. 






Provisional Agenda (AC/TF.AJ-13/Inf.1) 




List of speakers (AC/TF.AJ-13/Inf.1/Add.1) 




Guide on Interprefy for remote participation 




Report of the meeting 




List of key outcomes 




List of participants 




For all agenda items 




Decision VI/3 on promoting effective access to justice,




Item 2      
Outcomes of WGP-24 thematic session on access to justice      
Item 3      
Outcomes of the twelfth meeting of the Task Force      
Item 4      
Study on access to justice in information cases (see tab below)      

AJAI study

Study on access to justice in information cases

Pursuant to decision VI/3, para. 14 (a) (i), of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention, the Task Force on Access to Justice at its 11th meeting (Geneva, 27-28 February 2018) agreed to prepare a study on access to justice in information cases.

To gather the required information, a survey was carried out among several institutions dealing with this subject in the selected Parties, namely in European Union, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Portugal, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.  The draft report by the Chair of the Task Force was then prepared summarizing the responses received to the survey. The report provided a basis for the discussion at the 12th meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice (Geneva, 28 February – 1 March 2019).

The draft report was further revised by the Chair in the light of the comments made at the  12th meeting of the Task Force and comments submitted to the secretariat after the meeting.

The present draft report is made available for comments by the Aarhus Convention national focal points and stakeholders (see the revised draft report (v. 29 July 2020) in the table below). The comments should be sent to the secretariat (aarhus.survey[at] by 1 November 2020. The receipt of the comments will be acknowledged by the secretariat and they will be made available online in the table below.

Following this round of consultations, the final text of the report will discussed and finalized at the current meeting of the Task Force on Access to Justice.


Questionnaire on access to justice in cases on the right to environmental information (AC/TF.AJ-11/Inf.4 (final)) PDF    
Responses received to the above Questionnaire      
Draft report by the Chair (v. 22 February 2019 ) discussed at the 12TFAJ meeting PDF    
Revised draft report by the Chair (v. 29 January 2020)  DOC    
Comments received on the draft report by the Chair      
Revised draft report by the Chair (v.29 July 2020) for comments by 1 November 2020 DOC