MORE THAN 120 chief justices, supreme court justices and other top judges from 60 countries pledged yesterday to crack down on breaches of environmental laws that, until now, have been only patchily enforced across the world.
The first worldwide meeting of top judges, which convened last week, concluded they had to be guardians of the global environment, and promised "to boldly and fearlessly implement and enforce" the laws.
Some of them believe that the decision will be the first step towards the creation of an international court of environmental rights.
The meeting was chaired by Justice Arthur Chaskalson, South Africa's Chief Justice, and also included Justice Clifford Wallace, a chief judge emeritus of the American Court of Appeals; Justice Vyacheslav Lebedev, the chairman of the Russian Supreme Court; a vice- president of China's Supreme Court; and the chief justices of India, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Tanzania.
Dr Klaus Topfer the executive director of the United Nations Environment Pro- gramme, the body that brought the judges together, said that although almost every country had environmental laws, and there were more than 500 international …