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  • EPIL China _ 2022 JEL _ preprint

    Submitted manuscript, 618 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

  • EPIL China _ post print

    Rights statement: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Environmental Law following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [citation] is available online at:

    Accepted author manuscript, 515 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 6/10/23

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Environmental Public Interest Litigation in China: Findings from 570 Court Cases Brought by NGOs, Public Prosecutors and Local Government

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/10/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Environmental Law
Issue number1
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date6/10/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Environmental public interest litigation (EPIL) is an important development in the evolving framework of environmental governance in China. Through quantitative and qualitative analyses of decided cases brought by local government, public prosecutors and environmental NGOs, this study critically examines the features, strengths, difficulties and obstacles in the EPIL practice of China. While there is remarkable success overall for all three groups in terms of outcome, they each display different approaches and focuses. The prosecutors have established themselves as the cornerstone of the system by being the most efficient in winning the greatest number of cases. NGOs moved away from collaboration with the prosecutors in low-value cases, effectively into a competition with the government in a smaller number of high-value cases, though they are willing to venture into areas where others hesitate over. The findings offer valuable insights into current EPIL practice and inform future policy adjustment and legislation.