Justices of the Third Environment Court

Dr. Michael HANTKE DOMAS

Chief Justice of the Third Environment Court ot Chile. Justice Hantke Domas (LL.B Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile; PhD University of East Anglia ESRC Centre for Competition Policy and the Norwich Business School, England, UK).

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University of Dundee

Dr. Roberto PASTEN CARRASCO

Justice of the Third Environment Court of Chile. Justice Pastén Carrasco (BS in Business Management Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Chile; PhD in Economics University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA).

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Ms. Sibel VILLALOBOS VOLPI

Deputy Justice of the Third Environment Court of Chile. Justice Villalobos Volpi (BS in Marine Biology Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile; Master of Science in Water Resources Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile).

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Mr. Pablo MIRANDA NIGRO

Deputy Justice of the Third Environment Court of Chile. Justice Miranda Nigro (LL.B Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile; LL.M in International Legal Studies Washington College of Law, American University, Washington D.C., USA).

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Organization Chart

Chilean Environment Courts Act (2012)

The Chilean Environment Courts Act No. 20.600 (2012) established three courts in the country, the First Environment Court in the city of Antofagasta, the Second Environment Court in Santiago, and the Third Environment Court in Valdivia.

These Courts are specialized judicial bodies whose duties are to adjudicate environment disputes and other matters that the law subjects to its attention. The Courts are under the supervision of the Chilean Supreme Court of Justice, the hightest court in the land.

The selection of justices consists in a four-tiered process, involving the Public Council Senior Management, the Supreme Court, the President of Chile, and the Congress (Senate).


Court Mixed Composition

The Third Environment Court (3TA, by its Spanish acronym), reviews administrative environment decisions and adjudicate environment damages lawsuits.

The court hear cases in a bench of three Justices, two of them lawyers, and one of them a bachelor in sciences, all of them with academic background and/or experience in environment matters. In addition, the 3TA has two deputies Justices, a lawyer and a bachelor in sciences, who sits on the bench when the chair of the Justice of their related field of knowledge is absent (law ar science).

In addition to the Justices, the Court has a staff of 16 professionals. 7 of them have graduate level (three Ph.D., three master degrees, and one specialization), from Chilean and foreign universities in disciplines such as law, economics, environment science, management and financing, public relation, and public policy.


Standing Criteria

Any person or legal entities can bring a case to the Court, depending on the subject. Each particular matter has its own standing criteria. All cases must be brought to the Court through a lawyer. Proceedings are free of charge.

The Court has an electronic case management system, which is permanently available online to facilitate community access.


Geographical Jurisdiction

The 3TA hears cases from the South of Chile, including the following regions of Chile (from North to South): Biobío (VIII Region), Araucanía (IX Region), Los Ríos (XIV Region), Los Lagos (X Region), Aysén del General Carlos lbáñez del Campo (XI Region), and Magallanes y Antártica Chilena (XII Region). Our geographic jurisdiction is shown in the following map.

Jurisdiction

The Court hears cases on nine matters:

  • 1. Claims against Supreme Decrees (presidential orders) establishing (i) environmental quality standards; (ii) emission performance standards; (iii) declaration of non attainment areas, due to non meeting of the environmental quality standards; (iv) attainment clans for non attainment areas.
  • 2. Environmental damage lawsuits pursuing restoration of the environment.
  • 3. Claims against decisions of the Superintendence of the Environment (Environmental Enforcement Agency).
  • 4. Ex ante approval of environmental orders to be issued by Superintendence of the Environ­ment.
  • 5. Claims against decisions made by the Environmental Assessment Service.
  • 6. Claims for ignoring comments made by persons during the public participation process within the environmental assessment of a project.
  • 7. Claims of illegality against administrative acts excecuting or implementing quality and emission standards decrees, as well as prevention and remediation plans.
  • 8. Claims against decisions on annulment procedures of administrative acts of environ­mental nature.
  • 9. Hearing of other matters that the law subjects to the attention of the Court.

For more information about the Court, please visit www.3ta.cl