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Elena Fasoli

Abstract In order to contribute to the protection of the right of every person of present and future generations to live in an environment adequate to his or her health and well-being, the Aarhus Convention recognises the procedural rights of access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters (‘the three pillars’). The analysis of the progress made by Parties in implementing the ‘pillars’ shows that the issue of access to justice constitutes the major obstacle to implementation. As to the most important legal developments, the adoption of a Compliance Committee has constituted a major step in the furtherance of the provisions of the Convention. The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers and the GMO amendment are also important tools for the application of more stringent approaches to environmental protection. Similarly, the Almaty Guidelines represent a significant move towards the increased accountability and efficiency of international environment-related forums.
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Valsamis Mitsilegas, Malgosia Fitzmaurice and Elena Fasoli

The chapter focuses on the relationship between EU criminal law and environmental law in the light of the link between EU and international environmental law. The analysis firstly deals with the constitutional controversy with regard to the use of the protection of the environment as a legitimising factor for the attribution to the Union of competence to define criminal offences and apply criminal sanctions. Secondly, the chapter examines the interactions between EU law and the international agreements containing criminal prohibitions for the protection of the environment (CITES, Basel Convention and MARPOL). It demonstrates that both the environmental crime and the ship-source pollution Directives constitute a step forward in the criminalization of certain activities harmful to the environment. Finally, the chapter investigates the possibility that a more extensive criminalization could lead to an over-criminalization in the field of the environment and concludes that this possibility exists in light of the Intertanko case.