The Commissioner investigates “improprieties”, i.e. any act or omission that, actually or potentially, leads to an infringement of the right to a healthy environment. This broad term does not only encompass any legally wrongful act or omission by an authority or a private actor but also questionable administrative practices, attitudes, etc. The Commissioner also investigates policy “improprieties”, i.e. government or municipality level decisions that (irrespective of their legality) may have a significant negative impact on the sustainability of the environment.
In administrative terms, the Commissioner mainly investigates the decisions of environmental authorities of first and second instance. The Commissioner may also initiate or intervene in the judicial review of administrative decisions. He cannot however launch an investigation into the merit of case finally closed by an administrative court.
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