Environmental Legal Advocates Pushing the Public Interest
CAI Ming, Head judge at the Environmental Court in Qingzhen, Guizhou
DAI Renhui, Partner at Beijing Huanzhu Law Firm
QIN Xudong, Legal News Editor, Caixin Media
MA Yong, Director of the Department of Supervision and Litigation, All-China Environment Federation
Enforcement of environmental laws has long been a major challenge in China, where severe water, air, and soil pollution problems are causing increasing health problems across the country. A new tool that lawyers and NGOs in China have begun to explore is the use of public interest law cases to push for better enforcement of pollution control regulations. At this CEF meeting we will be using an interview format to ask four legal advocates (a judge, two lawyers, and a journalist) questions about their involvement and views on the growing interest in public interest litigation. The discussion will not be academic, rather one focused on recent cases in which the speakers on the panel have been involved. The four panelists are part of a National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, in partnership with the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims at China University of Political Science and Law, is sponsoring a two-way exchange for environmental law professionals in China and the United States. The exchange program, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is a capacity building opportunity for young environmental lawyers, government officials, NGO representatives and other environmental law professionals. Our panelists will include:
Cai Ming, head judge at the Environmental Law Court in Qingzhen Guizhou, successfully adjudicated Guizhou's first case of public interest environmental litigation, which resulted in improvement to the water quality in Hongfeng Lake.
Dai Renhui in 2009 became a public interest environmental lawyer with the joint support of CLAPV and Natural Resources Defense Council and has been involved with numerous cases dealing with factory air pollution affecting nearby crops, lead contamination that was influencing the health of children in the area, and electromagnetic radiation cases.
Qin Xudong is a Caixin reporter with experience writing about environmental public interest cases and legal developments.
Ma Yong since 2005 has led the legal team at the All-China Environmental Federation to provide legal aid to about 2,000 victims of environmental damages involving 30 cases, of which 22 went through legal proceedings. He also led the legal team in the first environmental public interest lawsuit with a civil society organization as the plaintiff, a case that generated significant public attention.
Location: 5th Floor Conference Room