Environmental Public Interest Litigation in China: Cases and Reform


Thursday, March 23, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Austin Hall 308, Harvard Law School

Speaker: Barbara Finamore

East Asian Legal Studies seminar series

Barbara FINAMORE, Senior Attorney and Asia Director, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Co-sponsored by the East Asian Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School; China Project, Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Environmental Law Program, Harvard Law School.

Abstract: On January 1, 2015, amendments to China’s Environmental Protection Law went into effect that would allow an estimated 700 Chinese NGOs to bring lawsuits against polluters on behalf of the public interest. The Supreme People’s Court then issued an authoritative “interpretation” that provides clarification and needed details to this new public interest environmental law system.  These new rules appear to be designed, in many ways, to make it easier for Chinese NGOs to sue polluters. Yet many challenges still remain.  This presentation will provide an overview of the current status of environmental public interest litigation in China, including case studies, challenges and reform efforts.