Our story began in 2003, at the heart of the European Union enlargement. About a year later, many countries from the former “Eastern Block” became EU Member States. Back then, environmental lawyers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia realized that joining forces on the Brussels scene would strengthen their national cases. EU membership brought about more robust environmental standards, which are not equally applied everywhere. Making the EU and national governments keep their promises to protect the people and the environment better is the core effort of Justice and Environment (J&E).
The organization expanded from having four members in 2003 to 15 today, most of them residing in EU countries.
We are a network of 15 green law NGOs located in several EU countries and beyond. There are 11 full members and 4 associate members. J&E members often serve as environmental law ‘service points’ in their countries, handling cases, participating in legislative processes and sometimes providing legal analyses and consultations for national governments. J&E lawyers are seasoned environmental law experts, experienced within their national legal systems, familiar with challenges faced by their respective communities and well aware of the EU legal framework.
The General Meeting of all J&E members is held at least once a year to set strategic directions and assess overall development. The Executive Committee is responsible for the management of the network. It consists of five elected representatives of J&E full members, led by the J&E Chairman. The Executive Committee delegates some of its powers to a Coordinator, responsible for the day-to-day management. The latter is assisted by a Financial Manager and Accountant and a Communication and Fundraiser Consultant.
Our work is made possible by the generous support of our current and previous donors:
Mission: J&E uses its legal expertise and experience to improve EU environmental laws and their implementation for the benefit of the environment and people across Europe.
Vision (external): EU environmental laws protect the planet and the people, doing so in a transparent, participatory and accountable way.
We aim for a stronger environmental legislation and implementation on both the national and European Union stages to protect the environment, people and nature. Our coverage is wide and we are well aware of the environmental law enforcement issues shared by Spain and Estonia for instance. Gathering national experiences enables us to expose pressing issues in Brussels, while maintaining strong ties with local communities.
How We Work
As lawyers we mostly use legal methods and tools to convince decision makers into spurring positive change. We analyse the implementation of EU law, illustrate on-the-ground practice via case studies, design policy recommendations. When needed, we defend the rights of communities and nature in court and launch infringement proceedings against faulty governments. In partnership with other NGOs, we campaign for a change in law and enforcement. We work to improve our campaigning activities, to engage people via media tools.
Our Scope of Work
We are currently working on:
- Access to Justice (the Aarhus Convention)
- Environmental Assessments (EA)
- Pollution Control: the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD)
In the past, we also worked on Waste, Transport, Health, and Biodiversity (Natura 2000).
J&E (officially called Association Justice and Environment, z.s.) is a non-profit non-governmental organisation registered under Czech law. During the many years of operation, J&E was often invited by commercial companies to serve as a consultant in technical assistance projects or research projects. In order to be able to join these consortia, J&E established its own company under Czech law called J&E Advisory, s.r.o. This is a for-profit entity and it is different from the association, however, its management is linked to the one of the association. If you would like to get in touch with the company, please contact the Coordinator of J&E.