NEWS

KATHARINA SCHARFETTER, new Topic Leader of Access to Justice Working Group: “The task of an environmental lawyer is not only in applying environmental rules, but also promoting necessary legal means for participation of eNGOs and citizens"

04-10-2018
Category: Aarhus

KATHARINA SCHARFETTER, new Topic Leader of Access to Justice Working Group: “The task of an environmental lawyer is not only in applying environmental rules, but also promoting necessary legal means for participation of eNGOs and citizens in environmental matters.”

Starting from September, J&E has a new Topic Leader for Access to Justice Working Group – Katharina Scharfetter from ÖKOBÜRO / J&E Austria. She was born in a small village in the Alps south of Salzburg/Austria. After graduation she studied Law at Karl Franzens University in Graz/Austria and finished a programme on Slavonic Studies as well. During the last year of the law programme she decided to concentrate on environmental law and had a revelation: “from that moment on, I actually saw a future for me in legal professions. I did an internship at ÖKOBÜRO and wrote my diploma thesis on conflicts of the Austrian EIA proceedings with EU law.” To gain further work expericence she did several internships, e.g. at the Austrian Embassy in Astana/Kazakhstan, at the criminal court of Vienna, some civil district courts and the Ombuds Office for Animal Protection in Vienna.

In September 2018 she started working at ÖKOBÜRO again and she says being very proud to be part of Justice and Environment thereby as well. “Stepping into Summer´s footprints as a topic leader of the Access to Justice working group will be a challenge, but I´ll try my best”, she says.

She sees her task as an environmental lawyer not only in applying environmental rules, but also promoting necessary legal means for participation of eNGOs and citizens in environmental matters and engaging in the protection of a democratic space where those rights can be enforced. “As part of Justice and Environment I hope to engage in these issues on an international level as well. I truly believe that adressing environmental problems requires a strong civil society”, she emphasizes.