Senior judge Deng Xuelin to head China's green tribunal

Recently set up tribunal to guide and coordinate the work of 134 specialist environmental courts set up set up by local governments

 
By Anushka Kaushik
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Economic growth over the years has resulted in huge environmental degradation in China (Credit: Peter Dowley)

China’s Supreme People’s Court has appointed Deng Xuelin, a top environmental judge, to head the country's green tribunal launched a few days ago. The Environmental and Resources Tribunal was set up with a view to tackle complex environmental problems and pollution problems of China. The tribunal’s main objectives would be to provide guidelines and hear individual environmental cases as stated during its launch.

With China’s pollution reaching record levels, this is a welcome step as economic growth over the years has resulted in huge environmental degradation in China.

China has earned a reputation for giving scant regard to conservation efforts and moderating development with protecting the environment. Recently, Chad suspended all drilling and exploration activities of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in the region after it repeatedly failed to meet global environmental standards and environmental violations.

China Environmental News reported that the appointment of Xuelin and the setting up of the tribunal would give a unified guidance and coordination to the 134 specialist environmental courts set up set up by local governments.

China had earlier taken a step toward conservation by passing the amendments to its 1989 Environmental Protection Law which has given local governments greater power to punish violators in accordance with the law.

The country vows to reverse some of the damage done of almost 300 years of rapid economic growth and development efforts. Litigators have previously complained that procedures to handle and hear cases are extremely informal which makes the judicial process largely inefficient. For the purposes of improving legal mechanisms, China has assured that channels for the public to take action against firms that break the law will be created.

 

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