Olenina T.Yu. The Concept of Environmental Information in the Russian Legislation

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2018.2.19

Tatyana Yu. Olenina, Сandidate of Sciences (Jurisprudence), Associate Professor, Department of Administrative and Financial Law, Petrozavodsk State University, Lenina St., 33, 185910 Petrozavodsk Russian Federation; Senior Lecturer, Department of Administrative, Financial and Information Law, Northern Institute (Branch) of Russian State University of Justice (RPA of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation) in Petrozavodsk, Onezhskoy flotilii St., 51, 185034 Petrozavodsk, Russian Federation,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Introduction: the article is devoted to the identification of the problems related to information transparency in the field of environmental protection, which is the basis for the protection of the citizens’ rights and the work of the environmental organizations. Due to the fact that a large number of norms of the Russian legislation currently govern the relations connected with environmental information, the article presents the comparative law analysis of the Russian legislation related to environmental information in order to improve the legal norms in the field under consideration. The Russian legislation determines the terms “information on environmental conditions” and “environmental information”, which are not synonymous. As a result, the lack of a common approach to understanding the term environmental information raises a number of legal problems. Environmental information is a special type of information. The law determines the entities entitled to environmental information in different ways. The content, terms and forms of providing environmental information are not determined by law. The problem of the Russian legislation is that without the citizens’ appeal to the authorized state bodies, the latter are not obliged to report the information on environmental conditions. Another problem is ensuring confidentiality of commercial and other legally protected secrets in providing environmental information. Results: as a result of researching the author comes to the conclusion that the Russian legislation is subject to modernization in terms of governing the public relations in the provision of environmental information. In this connection, it is necessary to ratify the Aarhus Convention. Conclusions: the Russian legislation is subject to modernization in terms of governing the public relations in the provision of environmental information. In this regard, ratifying the Aarhus Convention is necessary. In particular, it is necessary to provide the definition “information on environmental conditions” (“environmental information”) unified for the Russian legislation, for this term to be also consistent with article 42 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The legal definition should be determined in the Federal law “On Environmental Protection”. This law should also govern the content, terms and forms of providing environmental information.

Key words: environment, the Aarhus Convention, information on the environmental conditions, environmental information, the Federal law “On environmental protection”, information transparency in the field of environmental protection, natural resource user, the right of citizens to favorable environment, the right of citizens to information on environmental conditions, the right of citizens to natural resources and facilities, information, environmental management.

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