The Aarhus Convention was signed on the 25 June 1998 in Aarhus, Denmark. It is the leading international agreement on environmental democracy, aiming to protect every person’s right to live in a healthy environment. It guarantees the public three key rights on environmental issues: access to information, public participation and access to justice.
On Monday 26 June 2023, this discussion provided an insight into how and why the convention first came about, its importance to citizens and the environment and how it could be used more effectively in the future. Our expert panel included David Wolfe, who has been at the forefront of using the convention to argue and win ground-breaking access to justice cases; Gillian Lobo, who has argued that empowering individuals and civil society to challenge unlawful government decisions and affect change is a hallmark of the democratic process; and Chris Packham, who has experienced the convention first hand from an NGO perspective.
Together, they examined the evolution of the convention since its inception, how not for profit organisation, Wild Justice, has used it for public benefit and how it may be improved in the future.
The discussion was followed by an audience Q&A. The event was be chaired by Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill, who has been a longstanding champion of increased access to environmental justice.
- Chair: The Rt. Hon. Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill, former supreme court justice and associate member, Landmark Chambers
- David Wolfe KC, barrister, Matrix Chambers
- Gillian Lobo, head of litigation, ClientEarth
- Chris Packham, director, Wild Justice