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. 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 Etikprövningsmyndigheten (permit 2022-04786-01) and complies with GDPR.

The project is part of the Claws & Laws initiative, but since we do not know all the languages nor the different legal traditions of all European Union member states, we are contracting at least one legal consultant per EU member state. The work and knowledge of the consultants are essential for the success of the project. They are responsible for the collection and coding of court cases in their country, as well as writing a summary of the national implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives.

Are you a European environmental lawyer and would you be interested in working with us as a consultant in the project?

Please contact You will contribute to important legal-conservation research and capacity building on species protection, be paid, and be able to use the data you collect for your own purposes. The work can also be used for capacity building by European environmental organizations.

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