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Civil Legal Protection in Environmental Matters

Strategic lawsuits for environmental protection represent a powerful tool in the fight to preserve our ecosystem and enhance ecological justice. These include legal proceedings initiated by individuals, organizations, or groups to achieve and protect the right to a healthy environment using civil legal mechanisms, alongside criminal and administrative protections. These lawsuits rely on various legal bases, including the Constitution, international conventions, and specific laws and regulations governing environmental issues.

A specific type of strategic lawsuit includes climate cases, which have significantly increased in recent years, as evidenced by the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in the case of Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz v. Switzerland. This ruling is significant as it sets a precedent. For the first time, the court ruled on a climate case and determined that human rights had been violated, implying that this precedent will be used in all member states of the Council of Europe, including Serbia, given that court practice is legally binding in all member states of the Council of Europe. More about it in the following link.

Moreover, it is important to note that although the National Program for the Adoption of the Acquis of the European Union had anticipated the adoption of the Law on Environmental Liability in the third quarter of 2023, this law has not yet been adopted. Considering the electoral process in the Republic of Serbia, there is an expectation that this law will be adopted in 2024. The adoption of the law will concretize the application of the “polluter pays” principle and, among other things, mandate insurance for certain activities that may cause environmental damage.

We invite all those interested in learning more about civil legal protection in environmental matters to register for participation in the Green Justice Conference: Implementation of Horizontal Environmental Legislation at the following link.