18 May 2021

ThinkChina Policy Brief: Clash of Local Titans - Lawsuits between Procuratorial Organs and Environmental Bureaus in China

Smog in Beijing, China by Lei Han Flickr Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In this ThinkChina.dk Policy Brief, Yi Ma and Wen Xiang give an introduction to a new form of police-patrol in China’s environmental governance, the Environmental Administrative Public Interest Litigation (EAPIL).
The policy brief seeks to explain where EAPIL comes from, how it has been implemented, and investigate the implications for the future political and legal development in China’s environmental governance.

Key takeaways:

  • There is emerging institutionalization of intergovernmental (or perhaps more accurately, inter-state organs) lawsuits in China
  • It is worth noting that the Chinese central government has allowed EAPIL, or Administrative Public Interest Litigation more broadly, to be institutionalized and used it as an instrument
    to address the issue of bureaucratic shirking
  • This also shows the adaptability of the Chinese party-state to be willing to introduce institutional reforms to tackle urgent challenges in the environmental sector.
  • For the moment, it is still very unclear how EAPIL, or Administrative Public Interest Litigation,
    more broadly, is going to shape the central-local relations in China

Download and read here.