ClientEarth has today signed an agreement with China’s Supreme People’s Court which is designed to help the Chinese authorities overcome environmental challenges, like pollution.
Both organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which formalises a co-operation that has been ongoing for the past three years.
The Supreme People’s Court in 2014 established a dedicated environment and resources tribunal, and similar specialised courts have been established at provincial and municipal levels.
The MoU is a long-term strategic partnership in which ClientEarth and the SPC will cooperate regarding the training of judges and comparative legal research, as well as drafting judges’ training materials, overseas trainings, study visits, international seminars and exchanges for judges.
The memorandum was signed at the opening ceremony of a well-attended training session for Chinese environmental judges, in the presence of SPC Vice President Justice Jiang Bixin, and Doug Ruley, General Counsel at ClientEarth.
Dimitri de Boer, ClientEarth’s chief representative in China said: “The Supreme People’s Court environmental judges are very influential as they decide on the biggest cases and guide lower-level courts, and they are responsible for the drafting of ‘judicial interpretations’ of the existing environmental laws.
“It is through these interpretations that the law is implemented and given ‘teeth’. Without the prospect of a judgment being made against them, polluters will not be influenced to change their behaviour.”
Doug Ruley: “ClientEarth’s vision is a world protected by robust laws where people and nature thrive together, and our mission is to use the law to protect people and the planet.
“We strongly support China’s vision of an ecological civilization, and want to build an ecological civilization not just in China but throughout the world. We are honoured to work with the Supreme People’s Court, and to share our ongoing work with the judges who interpret, apply, and enforce Chinese environmental law. We look forward to deepening our cooperation.”