Ecolex Logo
The gateway to
environmental law
Search results » Jurisprudence

Boxus and others v. Région wallone

Country/Territory
Belgium, European Union
Type of court
International court
Date
Oct 18, 2011
Source
UNEP, InforMEA
Court name
European Court of Justice
Seat of court
Luxembourg
Reference number
C-128/09
Language
English
Subject
Legal questions, Environment gen.
Keyword
Access-to-justice Environmental planning Legal proceedings/administrative proceedings Procedural matters
Abstract
This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the question whether obligations under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive 85/337 may be excluded through a formal act of a legislative authority. Under Article 1(5) of that directive, projects adopted trough a specific act of national legislation fall outside of the scope of the Directive, if certain conditions are met. The references have been made in the course of proceedings brought by persons living near two Belgian Airports and a railway line against the Walloon Region regarding consents for works granted on those installations. The Parliament of the region adopted a Decree in which it ratified several of the administrative planning consents, effectively transforming the administrative decisions into specific acts of national legislation. Thereby the projects were possibly excluded from the EIA Directive by virtue of Art. 1(5). The Conseil d’État referred the matter to the ECJ. The Court considered that a specific legislative act adopting a project must, if it is to come within the scope of Art. 1(5), be specific and display the same characteristics as a consent of that kind. The project must also be adopted in detail and include all the elements of the project relevant to the environmental impact assessment. Also, the legislative acts are only excluded from the scope of that directive when the legislative body has substantively fulfilled the objectives of the Directive. Accordingly, the Court is of the opinion that it is necessary to consider the wording of the act concerned as well as the substance of the legislative procedure involved. This requirement is to ensure that the safeguards of the Directive are kept in place. Thus, the national court has to verify that those conditions have been satisfied, taking into account both the content as well as the procedure of the act adopted. Conversely, a legislative act which only ratifies a pre-existing administrative act without a substantive legislative process, cannot be regarded as an act sufficient to exclude a project from the scope of the EIA Directive. (Joined cases C-128/09 to C-131/09, C-134/09 and C-135/09)
Full text
COU-159031.pdf

References

Cited by
Cites

Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

Legislation | European Union | 1985 | Repealed

Keyword: EIA, Authorization/permit, Land-use planning, Legal proceedings/administrative proceedings

Source: FAO, FAOLEX