An interdisciplinary research initiative about law and biodiversity conservation

Courts & Conservation


The project Courts & Conservation is about documenting and understanding litigation as a conservation tool in the European Union. We map the extent, scope, nature, and outcome of public interest litigation for species protection in the EU. More specifically, we map administrative and civil court cases about the direct protection of wild animal species in the European Union. The relevant laws in the EU are the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive. We focus on litigation where members of the public, typically non-governmental organizations, take legal actions against local or governmental authorities for decisions, actions, or failures to act regarding species. The project is approved by Etikpr√∂vningsmyndigheten (permit 2022-04786-01) and complies with GDPR. Using a network of legal consultants in EU Member States, we have already collected a substantial number of court cases, which will be made available in a publically accessible database in the near future.

Focusing on large carnivores
We are particularly interested in keeping tracks of the legal aspects of large carnivore conservation. For these species, litigation is frequent and new court ruling are regularly issued. Similarly, the legal landscape regarding large carnivores has become more dynamic with legal changes on the protection of large carnivores implemented or being discussed.

Do you have knowledge of recent court cases about large carnivores in your country? Are you following discussions on changing legal protection for large carnivores in Europe?

We would be interested in receiving from you any documents, such as court rulings, parliamentary bills or updated laws, that are relevant to large carnivore conservation in Europe. Please send us information by emailing to You will contribute to important legal-conservation research and capacity building on species protection. Thank you.

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