【Article】To protect China’s environment, make its courts independent

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SCMP 2013-02-09
INSIGHT | Dennis Kwok

【Dennis Kwok says environment can’t improve if laws are not enforced】

I was recently invited to give a lecture at the Wuhan University School of Law on the topic of environmental protection laws and the judicial system in Hong Kong. On a cold morning, I took an early train from Shenzhen to Wuhan on the high-speed rail line. Looking out of the window, I saw the scenery submerged in a grey haze, which deepened as we travelled north.

It turned out that the air pollution level in northern China that weekend broke a few records, with Beijing recording some of its highest readings ever.

In the 1980s, the central government introduced a series of laws to protect and improve the ecological and living environment. Yet, more than two decades after the laws to curb air, sea and farmland pollution were enacted, human activities continue to damage the environment on a daily basis. How is it that these laws are no more than paper tigers ignored by local officials? Continue reading “【Article】To protect China’s environment, make its courts independent”

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