781226 Environmental & Sustainable Development Law of China

This subject provides a snapshot of Chinese law through an environmental lens. In particular, the challenge of legislating and implementing environmental and sustainable development laws in the context of the powerhouse that is the Chinese economy and whether it is possible to balance what could be considered irreconcilable differences. In turn, do food and energy security override environmental concerns or are they in step? In our examination, we review the legal and constitutional basis of Chinese law including the relationship between Beijing and the provinces; the role of the courts at both the national and provincial level; and the role of the Communist Party of China.

The subject also examines China's extensive environmental legislation, the important role of environmental NGOs and the increasing importance of corporate social responsibility. There is an assessment of the role of international environmental conventions and their implementation in China including the environmental impact of China's membership of the World Trade Organization. Finally we return to the underlying theme: are effective laws on the environment and sustainable development possible in the context of an economy committed to rapid economic development?

Teaching Material for this course