The European Court of Human Rights will examine on Wednesday the appeal of the Swiss Elders for climate protection. If it were to go into the matter on the merits, the case could have value as a precedent in terms of human rights on the climate.
According to the procedure in force, the ECtHR asked several preliminary questions to the parties. In particular, if the association and its members can be considered victims of a violation of Articles 2 (right to life) and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the agreement due to the inaction of the Switzerland on the climate. And if the association has been deprived of any access to an effective judicial process.
On Wednesday, the Elders for Climate Protection and the Confederation will be called upon to plead their case in court. If necessary, the president will ask additional questions which the parties will have to answer after a suspension of the hearing. The court will then retire to deliberate and communicate its decision at a later date.
Breach of duty of care
The association, which is supported by Greenpeace, invokes fundamental rights and in particular the State’s duty to protect. Concretely, she criticizes Switzerland for not doing enough to stop climate change.
This disruption causes more numerous and intense heat waves. These heatwave episodes would particularly expose women and the elderly to health problems, believe the appellants.
The Elders for Climate Protection filed a complaint with the Confederation in 2016. But the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC) did not enter into the matter, considering that the association did not have standing to act.
In 2020, the Federal Court also dismissed their appeal. In addition to the lack of standing, the Mon Repos judges considered that the Swiss system offered sufficient democratic tools to assert such rights. In the same year, the case was brought before the ECHR in Strasbourg.
The Association des Aînées pour la protection du climat was founded in 2016. Today, it claims to have more than 2,000 members throughout Switzerland, with an average age of 73. Only women who have reached retirement age can join. (Application No. 53600/20)
This article has been published automatically. Source: ats