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CJEU hears Aarhus prohibitive costs infraction proceedings against the UK

DATE: 11 Jul 2013

On 11th July 2013 the Court of Justice of the European Union heard argument in Case C-530/11 Commission v UK.

This case follows a complaint made in 2005 by WWF-UK (later to become one of the constituent bodies of Coalition for Access to Justice on the Environment or CAJE) that the UK had not properly transposed obligations in Directive 2003/35/EC which themselves implement the requirements of Article 9(4) of the Aarhus Convention to provide access to justice in environmental cases which is not prohibitively expensive.

On 6 April 2011, the European Commission announced that it has decided to commence infraction proceedings seeking a declaration that “by failing to transpose fully and apply correctly Articles 3(7) and 4(4) of Directive 2003/35/EC … the United Kingdom has failed to fulfil its obligations under that Directive”

Ireland and Denmark intervened in support of the UK.

Advocate-General Kokott intends to deliver her opinion on 12 September 2013.

James Maurici QC appeared for the UK Government.