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Einzelne als Anwälte der Natur vor deutschen Verwaltungsgerichten: Perspektiven im Lichte des neueren Unionsrechts

Eckard Rehbinder

Germany’s rules on standing (locus standi) of third parties to assert, before courts, the illegality of administrative action or inaction in the field of the environment are designed to protect subjective public rights or interests (“protective norm theory”). This narrow standing concept has to an ever increasing extent been challenged by European law, both resting on the principle of effectiveness of directives and – more recently – on the requirement of broad access to justice under Article 9(3) of the Aarhus Convention. While it was initially felt that European law only required an extensive interpretation of the notion of subjective public right in the field of human health, some more recent judgements of the Court of the European Union dealing with water law have made it clear that “persons concerned” could also be legitimate users of the environment. This article explores the development perspectives stemming from the new case law, both with respect to the areas of environmental law affected and the criteria to determine the “persons concerned” that have a right of action.

Professor Dr. jur. Eckard Rehbinder ist emeritierter Professor für Wirtschaftsrecht, Umweltrecht und Rechtsvergleichung an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.


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