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Top China judges visit UK for environmental law training

Twelve top Chinese judges recently visited the UK for training to help them implement China’s new environmental laws.

Selected by the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China, delegates included senior judges from the Court and presidents of the Environmental and Resources Tribunal. They represent an important part of China’s emerging system of environmental law.

The head of our China office, Dimitri de Boer, said: “These judges decide on some of China’s most complex environmental court cases. The judges of the Environmental and Resources Tribunal are also involved in developing judicial interpretations, which are binding instructions to lower courts of China on how to apply the law.”

Over five days, the judges completed a leadership development programme designed by ClientEarth and Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. The programme covered a range of issues relevant to China, including pollution, health and greening the Belt and Road Initiative.

With contributions from leading academics in the field of China, the law and the environment, the programme covered the science and theory underpinning environmental litigation. It was also an opportunity to share learning and case studies on European, UK and Chinese environmental adjudication processes.

ClientEarth has worked in China on Environmental Rule of the Law since 2016. Over the past three years, more than 1500 judges have been trained in person or online, through ClientEarth’s cooperation with the Supreme People’s Court.

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