Associations’ right to take legal action good for the environment

Bronze statue of Justitia, holding a pair of balances in her handClick to enlarge
Thanks to the Environmental Appeals Act, associations can become advocates of the environment.
Source: Bilderbox / Fotolia.com

Since 2006 environmental and nature conservation associations have had the right to take legal action if certain administrative decisions such as the approval of industrial installations violate environmental provisions. An analysis of practice to date reveals that this right is an effective instrument to ensure that justice is done to the environment.

The study examined 37 concluded lawsuits brought by associations which are also recognised by the UBA . Nearly half of them were won partially or fully by the associations – a high “success rate”. The flood of proceedings feared by some has not occurred. Associations are exercising their right to appeal with competence and responsibility. Another positive aspect is that the mere possibility of the right to legal action ensures that environmental concerns are taken into consideration from an early stage on.