Environmental law

The European Commission wishes to make training material available which will be helpful both to legal practitioners for their own use and to the trainers of legal practitioners as a resource for their work in the field of European environmental law.

Training modules in the field of European environmental law (European Commission)

Access to justice in environmental matters and the implementation of environment‑related legislation are areas in which awareness of the regulations is particularly low. Regulations do exist however and are often very specific. In Europe there is currently a large number of cases in which offences affecting the environment are being prosecuted. Aware of the need to improve cooperation between the EU and the national judges, the Directorate‑General for the environment launched a special programme in 2008 to develop training modules on various aspects of EU environmental law and to organise workshops and seminars for judges on the implementation of the law. The training modules were also tested at these workshops and improved on the basis of feedback received.

The main purpose of the workshops is to raise awareness of EU environmental law and policy and to provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience. The intention is also to involve trainers and training providers. For this purpose, the training materials are developed in such a way as to allow them to be up‑dated and adapted to the needs of the target audience at the local, national or European level.

The training package on EU environmental law consists of modules on specific topics. Each module is divided into sessions, each of which takes the form of a specific training exercise, e.g. case studies or presentation of directives.

The modules are a mix of presentations delivered by the trainer and interactive work on case studies (four in 2.5 days of seminar). Trainers do however have the freedom to use the materials as they wish and can, for instance, design their own seminars by selecting only a limited sub‑set of the available sessions.

The modules available are available here free of charge in English, and cover the following topics:

  • EU Law on environmental impact assessment (EIA)
  • EU law on nature protection
  • EU waste legislation
  • EU water legislation
  • Principles of EU environmental law
  • Protection of environment through criminal law.

Training materials are also available on the following general issues:

  • Access to justice in environmental matters
  • The role of national courts and the Commission in the implementation of European environmental legislation.

A Training the Trainers manual explains how these training packages can be used in practice.

Training seminar on access to courts in environmental law matters (European Judicial Training Network – EJTN)

Interested legal practitioners and trainers can access the video podcasts of the training seminar organised in English by the Centro de Estudos Judiciários as part of the activities of the EJTN here.

Related links

European Judicial Training Network (EJTN)

Last update: 19/02/2019

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