Salus populi suprema lex . Marcus Tullius Cicero

The court obliged the State Environmental Investment Agency to publish international agreements on greenhouse gas emissions quotas trading
Tuesday, 30 October 2012 23:40


On October 11, 2012 the District Administrative Court of Kyiv ruled a decision obliging the State Environmental Investment Agency (SEIA) to publish international agreements on assigned amount units trade (greenhouse gas emissions quotas trading), concluded by Ukraine according to the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention UN Climate Change.

This lawsuit was initiated by the Expert Advisory Center "Legal Analytics" (plaintiff, EACLA) against the SEIA and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in July 2012, as the AAUs trading agreements, signed with Japan and Spain in 2009, are not published in Ukraine, and public has no access to information on international agreements signed according to the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.According to AAUs trading agreements foreign investment are attracted for the projects aimed at greenhouse gas emissions reduction and other environmental projects.

The court's decision is based on the following:

- The plaintiff (EACLA) according to its statutory objectives and current legislation of Ukraine, including international agreements, is the public (public concerned), which has, among other rights, right on access to information and access to justice in case of violation of their rights and legal interests.

- The basic legal act that regulates concluding, execution and denunciation of international treaties is the Law of Ukraine "On International Treaties."

- According to paragraph 1 of the Order on making, implementation and denunciation of international treaties of interagency character, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers № 422 from 17.06.1994, international interagency treaties of Ukraine are concluded on behalf of the ministries and other central executive bodies with relevant authorities of foreign countries and international organizations. According to paragraph 9 of the same Order international treaties of Ukraine of interagency character, which came into force in Ukraine, must be published in the Collection of existing international agreements of Ukraine, in the newsletter "Official Bulletin of Ukraine", and registered in the Ministry of Justice. At the same time, central authorities who conclude international interagency agreements of Ukraine submit the texts of such agreements for their registration to the Ministry of Justice. SEIA has not taken action for publication of international interagency agreements in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.

- The court does not take into account the argument of the SEIA based on the provisions of the AAUs trade agreements under which the parties are contractually obliged to keep confidential information about another party that is rated by either party to confidential or confidentiality is obviously arising from mailing, since the content of the above provisions of the agreements is referring only to certain confidential information, but not to the agreements as a whole. In addition, according to the Aarhus Convention, the Law of Ukraine "On information" the information about the agreements in the field of environment is considered as environmental. The access to this information cannot be restricted (except for information about the location of military objects). Thus, the information about AAUs trade agreements is environmental information within the meaning of the above laws.

- According to the article 9 of the Law of Ukraine "On Environmental Protection" everyone has the right on access to environmental information and appeal to the court decisions, actions or inaction in cases of violation of environmental rights.

Thus the court found unlawful inaction of the SEIA because of failure to publish international agreements on AAUs trade, signed by Ukraine with Japan and Spain in 2009, and ordered to submit the texts of the agreements to the Ministry of Justice for their registration. The court concluded that there is no illegality in the omission of the Ministry of Justice in connection with the non-publication of international agreements, as relevant texts of the documents were not submitted for registration to the Ministry of Justice.