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Green Benches: What can the People's Republic of China Learn from Environment Courts of Other Countries?

36 pages47 minutes


The rapid economic growth of the People's Republic of China (PRC) over the last 30 years has generated many environmental problems and a concomitant rise in the number of environmental disputes. Until 1989, legal cases arising from these disputes were usually heard in the people's courts of general jurisdiction. In that year, however, the development of the environment court system accelerated, leading to the creation of 11 such courts for pilot cases, a sign of the high priority the PRC has given to environmental protection over the past two decades. This publication examines the effectiveness of environment courts in the PRC and elsewhere, so that the lessons learned can be applied in the PRC and in other developing countries. It also recommends ways to promote environmental justice in the PRC, given that the 11 environment courts are no longer enough to handle the rapidly increasing caseload throughout the country.

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