Workshop: Efficiency in environmental protection through strategic cases, inspections, and adjudication of these cases

The Center for Strategic Litigation (CSL) organized the workshop on the topic: “Efficiency in environmental protection through strategic cases, inspections, prosecution and adjudication of these cases”

This workshop was attended by representatives from: Department of Administrative Affairs in the Basic Court in Prishtina; Basic Prosecution in Prishtina; Ombudsperson Institution; Department of Environmental and Water Protection (DMMU) in the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure; Department of Inspectorate in the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning, Labor Inspectorate, as well as monitors from Justice Today.

The workshop opened with the presentation of the Center for Strategic Litigation, where they talked about the purpose of the Center and its work to date. Among other things, it was emphasized that the Center for Strategic Litigation aims to strengthen the rule of law through the strategic litigation process, which means identifying cases affecting the public interest and sending them to the courts. Examples were taken of the cases that the Center has presented to the Court, focusing on environmental protection cases, namely, the case of Hydropower Plants in Deçan and that of Hydropower Plant Brezovica in Shtrpce.


The facilitator opened the discussion by explaining the international acts which regulate the field of environmental protection, saying that currently we have only documents of a mild nature at the international level, as well as the importance of identifying the balance between the economic objectives of the state and environmental objectives by state bodies.Several strategic court cases were raised in the courts of various countries in Europe, where the highest courts have found violations of environmental obligations by the state. The case, known as the Urgent in the Netherlands, was a case in which a non-governmental organization had sued the state for failing to take measures to prevent climate change by explaining the damage it was causing to the environment. The case went to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the Dutch Government should take measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the Dutch Government further acknowledged that its actions were not sufficient to prevent climate change.From the discussion that took place in this workshop, the following conclusions were drawn:

1. Curriculum remodeling in universities, including courses on environmental protection;

2. Integration of European Union legislation into mandatory training for judges and prosecutors;

3. Publication of a summary of cases and case law of the European Court of Human Rights;

4. The need for expertise to assess environmental damage;

5. Improving feasibility studies;

6. The need to respect the constitutional right to public consultation.