RASK successfully represents client in Supreme Court dispute with Environmental Board over clear cutting near homes.

Case

RASK’s lawyers Villy Lopman and Karmen Pähkla represented a client’s interests in the Supreme Court challenging a permit issued for clear cutting a forest park inside a settlement.

According to 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.

The Supreme 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.