Summary: – 1. Introduction. – 2. State Policy of Ukraine for Ensuring Environmental Rights. – 3. Environmental State Policy of Ukraine and Environmental Rights Protection. – 4. ECtHR Case-Law in Environmental Matters: Cases v. Ukraine. – 5. National Case-Law on Access to Justice on Environmental Issues. – 6. Concluding Remarks.
The protection of the environmental rights of citizens is an important issue for the domestic and foreign state policy of Ukraine. Although environmental rights are formally recognised and enshrined in law, they fail to be implemented in practice. This indicates the imbalance and lack of effective political and legal mechanisms for an appropriate system of measures to create conditions for exercising environmental rights and interests, their protection, and restoration, as well as to assure environmental awareness and culture.
In light of these general considerations, this research article aims to examine the current issues concerning access to justice for protecting environmental rights through the lens of the state policy of Ukraine and its real application to ensuring such protection. Accordingly, the underlying tasks of the article are: to analyse how meaningful and comprehensive the provisions of approved strategic documents are; to analyse the cases of the ECtHR against Ukraine in environmental matters; to study the national case-law concerning access to justice on environmental rights protection and whether they correspond with the state policy areas of ensuring environmental human rights; to analyse how efficient the mechanism of their protection in Ukraine is and whether conditions for equal access to court in environmental cases are created; to find and illuminate the current state policy gaps that might threaten the effective observance and enforcement of environmental human rights; to formulate theoretical and practical suggestions for their further improvement.