Environmental Rights in the EC Legal Order

31 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2007

See all articles by Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Pavlos Eleftheriadis

New York University Abu Dhabi; NYU School of Law

Date Written: September 2007


This article attempts to offer a general framework for the protection of environmental rights in the European Union's legal order. The article discusses the Aarhus Convention, which follows the international trend for procedural protection of environmental rights. The European Commission proposes to give effect to its 'access to justice' dimension of the Aarhus Convention in a way that endorses uniformtity as a goal. I argue that this goal is mistaken. The guiding constitutional principle in this area should be that unless there are strong reasons to the contrary, EC law will only supplement the public law of the Member States by providing minimum standards. Under the scheme of environmental rights established by the Aarhus Convention each applicant or environmental activist may have slightly different rights depending on the country where he or she starts their actions or launches their campaigns. The public law of the EC, of which environmental law is now a major part, is not an attempt at harmonization nor is it a simple deduction from the principles of direct effect and supremacy.

Suggested Citation

Eleftheriadis, Pavlos, Environmental Rights in the EC Legal Order (September 2007). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 24/2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015923 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1015923

Pavlos Eleftheriadis (Contact Author)

New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

NYU School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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