Table of Contents

Environmental Governance and Sustainability

Environmental Governance and Sustainability

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series

Edited by Paul Martin, Li Zhiping, Qin Tianbao, Anel Du Plessis, Yves Le Bouthillier and Angela Williams

This timely volume provides fascinating insights into emerging developments in the field of legal governance of the environment at a time when environmental governance is increasingly concerned with far more than legal doctrine.

Chapter 5: Toward a More Effective Environmental Criminal Law in China

Michael G. Faure and Hao Zhang

Subjects: development studies, law and development, environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, law and development


1 Michael G. Faure and Hao Zhang2 5.1 INTRODUCTION There is increasing attention to the role of environmental law in promoting sustainable development and effective environmental governance in China, but so far less has been published (at least in English) on the effectiveness of various enforcement mechanisms that could be used to support material environmental law. The goal of our chapter is to identify how public sanctioning systems (mostly criminal law, but to some extent also administrative law) might be employed in an effective way to induce compliance with environmental legislation. To answer that question and hence to address to what extent criminal and administrative law are able to perform a crucial role in the protection of the environment in China, we will first of all try to explain the structure of environmental criminal law in China (Richter, 2002, p. 78). A difficulty in describing environmental criminal law in China is that the norms can be found in a variety of documents with different legal status, like the Criminal Law, subsidiary criminal law and environmental statutes. Altogether, these provide a wide range of crimes, the formulation of which is in some cases not very precise and clear. After a description of environmental criminal law in China, the question arises to what extent environmental criminal law in China can be considered as effective. In order to answer that question, we will use recent literature which has argued that an ideal environmental criminal law should make use of a combination of provisions...

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