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China Daily Website

Make environmental protection courts count

Updated: 2013-08-19 22:15

Lawmakers in China must eliminate a series of restrictions on the filing of lawsuits against polluters by members of the public through the special environmental protection courts, says an article in the Southern Metropolis Daily. Here is an excerpt:

China Youth Daily reports that more than 130 environmental protection courts have been left in an idle state since they were established five years ago. The other side of the coin is worsening environmental pollution and mounting environmental complaints from the public.

The reason for this situation is clear. The lawmakers have established many institutional restrictions on common citizens suing the polluters through the special courts, especially in the fields of evidence collection and verification.

Worse, the lawmakers behind the Environmental Protection Law, which is under revision, stipulated that only social organizations with strong government background were allowed act as legal plaintiffs in environmental pollution cases.

These organizations are headed by a number of retired senior officials and sponsored by some big enterprises, some of which are heavy polluters.