Public participation by appeal - insights from empirical evaluation in Finland

Jukka Similä, Aino Inkinen, Jonathan Q. Tritter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Environmental law increasingly provides for participatory rights, including appeal rights, to ensure informed, legitimate decision-making. Despite consensus around the general need for participatory rights, including strong ones such as a right to appeal, public participation in environmental decision-making is often criticised. The critics' main argument is that the negative side effects resulting particularly from the use of strong participatory rights outweigh their benefits. Recent regulatory trends arising from better regulation policy to make environmental decision-making more cost-efficient tend to pay special attention to such arguments despite limited empirical evidence. This article provides evidence using material-concerning appeals against pollution permits in Finland and suggests that judicial review is a necessary and effective process for both protecting citizens' rights and improving the quality of environmental protection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-416
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Environmental Law
Issue number3
Early online date28 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • participation
  • appeal
  • pollution control
  • regulation


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