Presentation on theme: "Implementation of the Access to Justice Pillar of Aarhus Convention in South and Eastern Europe Mihallaq Qirjo REC Albania Director."— Presentation transcript:
Implementation of the Access to Justice Pillar of Aarhus Convention in South and Eastern Europe Mihallaq Qirjo REC Albania Director
Content REC regional framework Aarhus Convention third pillar Case Situation in Albania
REC regional framework REC as supporting organisation for beneficiaries countries facilitation of processes, capacity building activities, etc. Promoting implementation through different levels and mechanisms of REC activities Conveying the experiences throughout the region (CEE, SEE, EECCA, etc.) Civil society involvement through different mechanisms
Some regional conclusions - SECTOR Common Problems: Practical implementation Enforcement and the lack of rules; Support through up-to-date guidelines and procedures NGO fail to practice the rights, don’t know what the rights are and much less to use them efficiently Assessment of civil society in SEE countries, 2006; Aarhus framework, within other 5 main topics of assessment; Legislative framework for access to information and public participation is generally in place; Serbia and Montenegro are in process of development in line with Aarhus and EU requirements;
Some conclusions for three pillars – SECTOR Access to Justice These rights are weakly implemented or poorly used Causes: Reforms on administrative and judicial systems; lack of knowledge; Lack of free legal assistance and advice; It’s not clear to whom to appeal Access to information Weak practices of delivering of info; Lack of capacities to implement obligations; Tendencies to not respect the timeframe of answers; Failing to implement “the proper way and format” of information Public participation Failing to implement properly the procedures (notification, documents, accessibility, taking due account); The role of NGOs is by tradition limited to “consultative and participatory” and not “fully influencing”
Situation in Albania AC is ratified; The legal framework generally is in place, especially for pillars 1&2; Positive steps for pillars 1&2, which add to efforts for implementation of pillar 3; Increase of administrative cases, (complaining to higher level of administration) Legal systems reform; Traditions and culture related to the legal systems and tools; Lack of information, knowledge, and awareness; Difficulty on identifying the main responsible institution for implementation; Lack of specific provisions for the public to have the right to bring to the court 9.1 cases.
Aarhus Convention: Third Pillar Art 9.1 – Review procedures w hen right to access information is violated any person fast free of charge or low-cost In court or before other body Still this is not the situation in our countries
Case Discussable challenges: The standing right; Limitation to procedural challenges; Timeframe of the process; Lack and not use of adequate and effective remedies; Financial costs were an issue. Some aid programmes from USA, will bring into Albania T of genetically modified corn and soy, to be used as livestock food Complaints: NGO Defendants: MoE, and the Aid Programme Proceedings: MoE were not represented in court; Result: the Court cancelled the case as it was moot as the goods entered Albania, already.