RASK successfully represents client in Supreme Court dispute with Environmental Board over clear cutting near homes.
lawyers Villy Lopman and Karmen Kaplinski represented a client’s interests in the
Supreme Court challenging a permit issued for clear cutting a forest park
inside a settlement.
the Environmental Board, the complainant, as an ordinary local resident, had no
right to challenge a third-party forest notification. The Supreme Court
explained that the complainant did have the right to ask that the court revoke
the forest notifications.
Court also emphasised that, although the law allows for the consideration of
some distinctive features of administrative acts issued in electronic form, it
does not mean that an administrative authority may fail to comply with the
essential requirements for the protection of persons set out in the Administrative
Procedure Act, including the requirement to provide the reasoning behind the
administrative act and cite the available methods for challenging the act. The
court of highest instance found that the electronic system must be designed in
such a way that these requirements can be met effectively and lawfully.
The Supreme Court decision requires the Environmental Board to review the system for preparing forest notifications and bring it in line with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. In other words, the Environmental Board cannot continue with the current solution and must start providing the reasons for its notifications and cite the available methods for challenging them. The Board must also ensure that, for example, when issuing forest notifications permitting clear-cutting, the relevant information is available to the affected persons and they can, if necessary, take timely steps to protect their rights.