Research Handbook on Chinese Environmental Law
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Research Handbook on Chinese Environmental Law

Edited by Qin Tianbao

This Handbook provides a comprehensive review of the salient content and major developments of environmental law in transitional China. The core concepts, basic mechanisms and key challenges of Chinese environmental law are discussed, extending the frontier of understanding in this fundamental area. Previous knowledge of Chinese environmental law is built upon, taking into consideration the concerns of how to face environmental issues in the context of economic growth. Readers will gain an in-depth understanding of the nuances of environmental law in China from this extensive overview.
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Chapter 15: Environmental liability

Zhao Xiaobo and Zhang Jianwei


Under the Chinese environmental law context, ‘environmental liability’ refers to an obligation based on the principle that a polluting party should pay partly or entirely for damage caused by its activities. As an umbrella term, it includes three types of environmental liabilities: the civil liability, administrative liability and criminal liability, which most of the private and public law actions involving environmental harm may commonly rely upon. Violators may face potential fines, penalties, or jail terms for violations of various environmental statutes. This chapter will first explore the nature and definition of each type of environmental liability. It will then consider the components of each liability which include the scope of each liability, liability standards and remedy issue may in recent times have been supplemented by China’s Criminal Law 1997 (as revised) and the Environmental Protection Law 2014.

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