The Judiciary’s Role in Fighting Climate Change

International Edition 23'

Legal Practices


Mr. Moataz Aidarous

Egypt will host the 27th session of the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27), in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2022. The world will pay their attention to Egypt in organizing the next Climate Change Conference.

By looking at the weak role of many executives and legislatures to promote environmental protection around the world, this requires judiciaries to boldly apply international and national laws related to environmental protection and sustainable development.

The effectiveness of the judiciary’s role in protecting the environment shows the extent to which the judiciary appreciates human rights, in particular the right to a clean environment and the right to development. Thus, it is the duty of the judiciary to work on protecting these rights, considering that the judiciary is the guardian of human rights.

Egypt’s constitution stipulates that living in a healthy and safe environment is a human right, and that the environmental laws organize environmental affairs. The judiciary is responsible for implementing those laws in a manner that tackles all environmental problems.

The Egyptian administrative judiciary plays a great role in environmental protection, which includes the Egyptian State Council with its judicial section, as well as its legal advising (fatwa) section, both established many judgments and fatwas in environmental protection in areas such as natural reserves, combating hazardous waste, air pollution and others.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled in Appeal No. 8450 for the Judicial year 45 where the claimant requested the annulment of the decision of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) for not allowing one of the shipments to enter the country because it contained hazardous materials. The court concluded its judgment by rejecting the entry of these materials into Egypt. The court referred to Egypt’s accession to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted in 1989.

The General Assembly of Fatwa and Legislation Departments of the State Council No. 1599 for the year 2021 have created a fatwa in this matter. This fatwa was related to the renewal of the permit issued for one of the corporations to practice fish farming activity in Wadi El-Rayan natural reserve. The fish farming activity showed its negative effects on the nature of that reserve, and that this activity leads to disruption of the ecological balance. Thus, the General Assembly issued its Fatwa to stop this activity and other similar activities inside the reserve to preserve the natural wealth.