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The Legal System Building for China’s Water Treatment: Problems and Policy Options(No.53, 2018)

By Chang Jiwen, Tang Fangqing & Wu Ping, Research Team on “China’s Water Treatment”, Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies, DRC

Research Report, No.53, 2018 (Total 5328) 2018-3-22

Abstract: China’s water treatment legislation is inadequate and some regulations are self-contradictory . We need to change the legislative concepts, enhance legislative coordination, formulate comprehensive laws for specific lawsuits such as The Watershed Management Law, The Yangtze River Law and the Yellow River Law, and release regulations and rules such as The Water Conservation Regulations among others. In response to the problems of non-smooth regulative system, inadequate joint enforcement procedures and the absence of a long-term coordination mechanism, we need to integrate the system of river chief and lake chief system with the responsibilities of designated supervision departments, conduct the comprehensive enforcement pilot projects in relevant watersheds, improve the accountability mechanism of enforcement responsibilities and the dispute settlement mechanism, establish a legal mechanism for information sharing and coordinated inspection, and strengthen the regional and departmental coordination so as to form a synergy to enforce the law. In light of the restricted qualifications for social organizations to make lawsuits on public interest issues, it is necessary to flesh out the requirements, items and procedures for the procuratorial departments to make lawsuits on public interest issues, unify the judicial standards for water treatment, ease restrictions on social organizations to make civil lawsuits on environmental and public interest issues, establish the system for social organizations to make lawsuits on environmental, administrative and public interest issues and form the system of incidental civil public interest lawsuits collateral to criminal proceedings.

Key words: water treatment, rule of law, legislation, supervision, judiciary