Estonian Environmental Law Center has published guidelines on making discretionary decisions in environmental matters, aimed at helping Estonian public officials to consider and reason environmental decisions better. This gives a chance to consider different interests in a more transparent manner and helps to understand why the decision-maker considered a certain solution to be the best.
According to Kärt Vaarmari, lawyer at EELC and one of the authors of the guidelines, everyday work at EELC demonstrates that considering different interests and meaningful explanation of decisions is complicated and requires good knowledge. “Many officials of local municipalities have said that their decisions have been annulled by courts, because they did not contain enough reasoning or the courts found these insufficient,” Vaarmari explained. “In our guidelines, we provide practitioners with an overview of main requirements that are essential to avoid disputes over formalities and enable to put more efforts in to making thoroughly reasoned decisions.”
The guidelines are aimed at both municipal officials dealing with spatial planning and building permits as well as governmental officials issuing environmental permits. Real life examples and citations of most important Supreme Court judgments are provided to illustrate the requirements.
For more information, see homepage of the project Guidelines for Making Discretionary Decisions
The compilation of the guidelines was financed by Estonian Environmental Investment Centre (KIK)