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22 Cornell Int'l L.J. 197 (1989)
The Non-Reformation of Administrative Law: Standing to Sue and Public Interest Litigation in West German Environmental Law

handle is hein.journals/cintl22 and id is 207 raw text is: Michael S. Greve*
The Non-Reformation of
Administrative Law: Standing to Sue
and Public Interest Litigation in
West German Environmental Law
I. Introduction
This Article examines the German doctrine of standing to sue
(Klagebefugnis) in environmental disputes, as it has developed in legisla-
tion and litigation during the past two decades. The standing require-
ments imposed by German law prevent private parties from litigating on
behalf of collective, public interests; they even prevent environmental
associations from litigating on behalf of their members.1 Although envi-
ronmental associations have persistently demanded reforms that would
allow them to litigate on behalf of their members and the public, the
courts have generally refused to relax standing barriers in environmen-
tal disputes.2 Furthermore, the legislature (Bundestag) of the Federal
Republic of Germany has not followed the United States Congress in
passing environmental statutes under which any citizen or any per-
son can bring suit against a private party in violation of the act or
against the administrator for failure to perform a non-discretionary
duty. In the United States, virtually every major environmental statute
contains such a citizen suit provision.3 Considering the two nations'
* Director, Center for Individual Rights, Washington, D.C. Diploni (Political
Science), University of Hamburg, West Germany, 1981; Ph.D. (Government),
Cornell University, 1987.
Research for this article was conducted under the auspices of the Washington
Legal Foundation and supported by the John M. Olin Foundation, the Lynde and
Harry Bradley Foundation, the J.M. Foundation, and the Earhart Foundation. The
author would like to thankJeremy Rabkin and Matthias Greve for helpful comments
on earlier drafts of this Article.
1. Infra notes 23-28, 84-97 and accompanying text.
2. Infra notes 84-85, 160-61 and accompanying text.
3. The first citizen suit provision in an environmental statute was § 304 of the
1970 Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7604 (1982). Congress wrote this provision, with
only slight modifications, into many other environmental statutes. E.g., § 505 of the
Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1365 (1982). In recent years, Con-
gress has come to modify and expand citizen suit provisions. E.g., § 7002 of the
22 CORNELL INT'L L.J. 197 (1989)

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