In order to initiate a national debate about how to strengthen enforcement of environmental law, IUCN France (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) has called for individuals and organizations in France to support the creation of judges and jurisdictions specialized in environmental issues.
The Appeal responds to the recommendation of the international conservation community gathered at the World Conservation Congress in September 2016, which invited IUCN Member States to establish, in accordance with their national legal systems, their own courts for the environment and to give them sufficient authority to achieve a more effective and efficient coherent approach to environmental law.
Today, it is a global movement: the increasing number of courts and tribunals for the environment created over the last few years is spectacular. They are more than 1,000 in 44 countries, including India, China and some US states. France, with its long and solid environmental legislation must now go further to make application more effective.
The Law and Environmental Policy Commission of IUCN France, building on the diversity and success of judicial or environmental specialization initiatives in the field of environment around the world, highlights the strengths of this specialization. Better training allows for understanding of the issues and ecological constraints, reduction of training periods, better visibility of environmental litigation, and thus improvement of the legal certainty and the quality of decisions rendered by judges.
This specialization is part of a necessary reinforcement of the application of environmental principles that the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron recently committed himself to by announcing on 24 June 2017 in La Sorbonne that it would bring the preliminary draft Global Pact for the Environment before the General Assembly of the United Nations.
IUCN France therefore calls on the French Government, in particular its Ministers of Justice and Ecological and Equitable Transition, to initiate a reflection in order to ensure an enlightened implementation, and effective and coherent approach to environmental law that guarantees access to justice for all. Several conservation organizations and lawyers have already been involved in the IUCN France initiative, which invites all actors for the protection of nature in France to sign this call.
The appeal and the comparative law study are available here.
Chairman, Law and Environmental Policy
Commission (IUCN France)
Tel: 06 62 65 35 19
Program Policy Officer, Biodiversity
Tel: 01 73 78 28 14/06 74 94 70 42