THE AARHUS CONVENTION AND ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN THE EU AND SERBIA
Keywords:Aarhus Convention, Access to Environmental, EU Law, Serbia
Environmental protection has become on of the major global concerns that is addressed as an "environmental crisis" which is spreading not only to economy and politics, but also to law. This is the reason why it must be resolved through international environmental cooperation and organizational mechanisms. Consequently, this has resulted in growing demands for legal regulation ensuring efficient environmental protection, involving the concept of "access to environmental justice". Although the original EC/EU treaties only had indications of a European environmental policy, the Maastricht Treaty (1992) defines the aims of the new Union which include a common environmental protection policy. In this context, the Aarhus Convention (1998) focuses on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters and is substantially linked to international human rights and basic constitutional rights and freedoms. Access to environmental justice, as defined by the Aarhus Convention rests on the basic human right to a fair trail. Serbia has not joined the Aarhus Convention, but once current political obstacles are surpassed, it is reasonable to assume that Serbia would ratify the Convention and ensure its citizens "access to environmental justice".