The Hodgepodge and Echelon of Citizens Participation in Environmental Law Enforcement of China:The 2015 Environmental Protection Law in Focus

Ayalew Abate Bishaw


Among others, empowering the citizen in the environmental law enforcement was mentioned the reason for the 1989 environmental law reform in China for the 2015 environmental protection law adoption. The success of reform, however, has not been yet assessed and there is strong reason for scrutiny towel appreciate the nuts and hats of citizen participation in the environmental law enforcement. This article analysis the hodgepodge and echelon of citizen’s participation in the 2015 environmental protection law of China with regard to enforcement by clarifying the definitions of law enforcement and citizen participation in light of recent international legal development and understanding. It explores the forms and types of citizen participation recognized by the law in an effort to identify the magnificent reforms of the new law and elucidate on the pitfalls. The existing literatures relating to citizen participation in environmental law enforcement are reviewed and doctrinal scrutiny was made on the environmental protection law. The finding confirms that citizen participation has got wide and onerous recognition, albeit their empowerment to take court action in the public interest has some stringent requirement and limitation. Citizen participation is crucial in environmental protection and is an evolving principle in environmental law enforcement. And hence additional effort to include citizens‟ right of court action in the environmental enforcement may, fortunately, upgrade the law to the highest scale and may attract a huge enforcement contribution from the public wing.

Keywords: Public interest, citizen participation, Environmental Law Enforcement, and citizen’s rights, hodgepodge and echelon

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/82-01


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