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NGOs Shaping Public Participation Through Law: The Aarhus Convention and Legal Mobilisation

Abbot, Carolyn; Lee, Maria; (2023) NGOs Shaping Public Participation Through Law: The Aarhus Convention and Legal Mobilisation. Journal of Environmental Law 10.1093/jel/eqad030. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This article explores the relative neglect by environmental NGOs—at least until recently—of the middle, public participation, pillar of the Aarhus Convention. This can be seen in litigation, as well as in political advocacy, both domestically and at the international (Aarhus) level. Interviews with some key actors in this area and analysis of published documents provide insights into NGO decision-making. The limits of law become clear—Aarhus rights are made real only through the commitment of governments and civil society. A nuanced combination of internal and external factors contributes to explaining the lack of NGO attention to Aarhus’ middle pillar. We may also see some indications that NGOs envisage participation as a process properly dominated by expertise. This is far from uniform, however, and other parts of the community clearly appreciate and value the significance of lay participation in the environmental arena.

Type: Article
Title: NGOs Shaping Public Participation Through Law: The Aarhus Convention and Legal Mobilisation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/jel/eqad030
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqad030
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Keywords: Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Law, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Government & Law, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Arhus Convention, public participation, NGOs, legal mobilisation, interviews, COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE, MOVEMENTS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10180296
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