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An Exploration of and Reflection on China’s System of Environmental Public Interest Litigation

June 2017

Citation: ELR 10497

Author: Sun Qian and Jack Tuholske

Commensurate with its significant environmental problems, China’s environmental protection laws and court system have undergone profound changes in the past two years. In this Comment, the authors highlight the development and implementation of China’s environmental public interest litigation system, which shifts the legal paradigm from tort suits to recover damages incurred by pollution victims to cases that more closely resemble U.S. citizen suits.

Sun Qian is a judge of the Environmental and Resources Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court, People’s Republic of China, and also works for the Adjudication Tribunal for Resources and the Environment. Prior, she was a judge on the Guizhou Higher People’s Court for eight years. Jack Tuholske is a Visiting Professor at Vermont Law School and the director of the school’s Water and Justice Program. Since 2012 he has served as a technical advisor to the U.S.-Asia Partnership for Environmental Law, where he works with Chinese judges, lawyers, and nongovernmental organizations.

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