WHEN? Thursday 25 March 2021, 14:00-15:00 pm CET
In 2018, families from Europe, Kenya, Fiji, and the Sámi youth association from Sweden, whose livelihoods are hit by impacts of climate change, took the EU to court for its lack of climate action to protect citizens and their fundamental rights. In 2019, the first instance court – European General Court – acknowledged that the families and Saami youth who filed the case are affected by climate change. Nevertheless, without regarding the scientific evidence presented, the Court ordered the dismissal of the case on procedural grounds based on case law dating back to the 1960s : a person should be uniquely affected by an EU legislation in order to seek legal protection at the EU courts.
Families and the indigenous youth appealed to the European Court of Justice by highlighting the very rationale behind fundamental rights, which is the duty of protection of every single person. They therefore requested European courts to reconsider their interpretation of “uniqueness/ peculiarity” criterion in line with the climate emergency and to provide access to justice for individuals who are affected by climate change.
On 25 March 2021, the European Court of Justice will announce its final decision on the admissibility of the People’s Climate Case in a public hearing.
If the Court decides that the People’s Climate Case is admissible, the case will be heard on merits by the European Court of Justice. This would be a major step forward in the fight for access to justice for individuals and NGOs at the EU level.
On 25 March 2021, at 2 pm CET, lawyers and plaintiffs of the People’s Climate Case, as well as NGOs supporting the case will come together to analyse the decision of the European Court of Justice and what it means for the climate crisis and the access to justice discussion in the EU.
You will hear from the following speakers:
- Dr. Roda Verheyen and Prof.Dr. Gerd Winter, coordinating lawyers of the People’s Climate Case
- Maurice Feschet, French farmer, plaintiff of the People’s Climate Case (in French)
- Gerry Liston, Legal Officer, Global Legal Action Network, Portuguese childrens’ case in front of the European Court of Human Rights
- Harriet Mackaill-Hill, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Climate Governance Policy Coordinator
For more information please contact: Goksen Sahin, CAN Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 00 32 468 45 39 20