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Opening the Doors to Justice - The Challenge of Strengthening Public Access

Irina Zodrow and Cathrin Zengerling

elni Review 2007, Issue 2,  pp. 20-22.

The second meeting of the Task Force on access to justice under the Aarhus Convention took place on 10-12 September 2007 in Geneva. The Task Force was established by the Parties to the Convention at their second meeting in May 2005 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with the aim of addressing some of the practical issues and obstacles that occur in implementation of Article 9 of the Convention, which sets out the third pillar of the Convention, access to justice. As part of its mandate to “develop information and training or analytical material and activities at appropriate levels, and organize this work within the framework of the Convention's overall capacity building programme”, the Task Force had organized a workshop for the high-level judiciary in six Eastern European countries to raise awareness beneath the judiciary, build new links and capacities with courts and judicial training centres in the region and establish a network for future capacity building activities and facilitation of the implementation process of access to justice. The workshop took place in Kiev in June 2007, bringing together 35 judges and representatives of the national judicial training institutes. On the basis of presentations and hypothetical cases presented by a number of international experts the participants actively discussed obstacles to access to justice in the light of their national legislations and the Aarhus Convention.

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  1. European Court of Human Rights, Steel and Morris v. United Kingdom, App No 6841601, Judgment of 15 February 2005.