An update on the Aarhus Convention and its continued global relevance

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The Aarhus Convention was adopted under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on 25 June 1998. It entered into force on 30 October 2001 and, presently, has 40 signatories and 34 parties. The convention is the first legally binding instrument at the supra-national level guaranteeing access to information, public participation in decision making and justice in environmental matters. This article will briefly review the innovative features of the Aarhus Convention and its ground-breaking contribution to the development of international environmental law in general. It will focus on some of the recent initiatives undertaken within the framework of this convention, in order to underlie its continued global relevance. In particular, the article will draw attention to the convention's compliance system, its Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, and its draft guidelines on public participation in international fora, and emphasize how they constitute innovative precedents in international environmental law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalReview of European Community and International Environmental Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2005


  • Aarhus Convention
  • sustainable development
  • environmental law
  • public participation
  • accountability
  • transparency
  • access to information


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