To what extent have governments intergrated the access principles into law and implemented them in practice?
Significant progress has been made. At the international level the Aarhus Convention was adopted by forty governments and the European Community in
At the national level, most countries have put in place the basic elements of a legal framework to support access rights. Constitutions and laws now guarantee freedom of information in more than 85 countriesMany governments have enacted administrative processes, such as environmental impact assessments, that mandate public participation. However there are still wide gaps between law and practice, promises and implementation. Progress in relation to access to justice is still slow with groups being subject to intimidation, significant barriers of cost to take actions before the courts and delays in timeliness of decisions and enforcement of judgments. Profound transformations are still necessary to achieve implementation of access rights in a framework of transparency where governments and civil society share a commitment to environmental democracy.