Courts and the Environment
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Courts and the Environment

Edited by Christina Voigt and Zen Makuch

This discerning book examines the challenges, opportunities and solutions for courts adjudicating on environmental cases. It offers a critical analysis of the practice and judgments of courts from various representative and influential jurisdictions.
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Chapter 10: What Chinese courts could learn from the USA: the approach of public interest litigation under the new China Environmental Protection Law

Zhuoxian Zhang


Smog has become the most watched environmental issue in China, the largest developing country in the world. Accordingly, encouraging efforts have been made by the Chinese Central Government to create potentially powerful tools for the environmental protection. The newly revised Environmental Protection Law, which came into effect in 2015, is one of them. However, the enforcement of new laws has always been challenging. What lessons could the Chinese judiciary learn from other parts of the world? In the United States, the largest developed country, environmental litigation by public interest groups has been playing an important role in the enforcement of environmental law that has legally contributed to cleaner air conditions. Since the Chinese newly revised Environmental Protection Law establishes the legal status of environmental public interest litigation, such litigation could be applied in Chinese courts as an important approach to achieve environmental justice for all members of the society.

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