Whittling down pollution

By Tang Yuankai
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Beijing Review, October 28, 2014
Adjust font size:

While people are aware of environmental rights protection, it is not easy to file environmental cases with the courts. Ma Yong, Deputy Director of the Environment Law Service Center of All-China Environment Federation, told Xinhua News Agency that, last year, the federation brought eight environment public interest litigations to courts, but none of the cases were accepted.

Environmental disputes are different from other disputes, said Lu Zhongmei, President of Hubei University of Economics who has done more than 30 years of research in environment laws. For instance, in environmental cases, the perpetrators are difficult to identify, damages are often not immediately seen, the cause-and-effect relations are hard to establish. These factors make it more difficult to bring environmental disputes to courts.

From 2011 to 2013, every year, an average of about 30,000 environment related criminal, civil and administrative cases were accepted and heard by courts across the country, according to Zheng Xuelin, President of the Environment and Resource Tribunal of the SPC. In contrast, every year, courts in China hear more than 10 million other types of cases in total every year, Zheng said.

Many environment and resource-related cases cannot enter the litigation process, Zheng said.

To facilitate the trial of environmental cases, environmental tribunals have been established in China. The first environmental tribunal was set up in 2007 in Qingzhen, southwest China's Guizhou Province.

So far, 134 environmental tribunals have been set up in 16 provincial-level administrative regions across the country, said Sun Jungong, spokesperson of the SPC on July 3. On that day, the Environment and Resource Tribunal of the SPC was set up.

The tribunal's duties include hearing civil cases involving pollution, exploitation of natural resources and conservation of natural environments such as forests and rivers, and hearing appeal cases forwarded from lower courts, supervising the trial of environmental cases at lower courts and drafting judicial explanations about such cases, Sun said.

The tribunal is also expected to set the standards for trials of environmental cases, guide the work of lower courts and conduct research and draft relevant legal interpretations, Sun explained.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
   Previous   1   2   3   4   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter