Ecosystems Get Their Day in Court: Specialized Judges and Lawyers Will Tackle Complex Environmental Cases

By Docksai, Rick | The Futurist, September-October 2010 | Go to article overview

Ecosystems Get Their Day in Court: Specialized Judges and Lawyers Will Tackle Complex Environmental Cases


Docksai, Rick, The Futurist


Forests and animals can't hire lawyers, but they can still get representation under the law in many countries, thanks to new courts that specialize in environmental matters, according to the World Resources Institute.

"Environmental courts" were few in the 1970s, but they have since grown to more than 350 tribunals distributed across 41 countries.

China created 15 such courts in 2008-2009, while the Philippines redesignated 117 existing general courts as environmental courts within that same time frame.

According to George Pring, law professor at the University of Denver's Environmental Law Clinic, China established its courts due to citizens' mounting opposition to air and water pollution.

"In China, you have a situation where the local lake, river, or reservoir oftentimes becomes so polluted by factories that the fishing economy is destroyed and people can't use water for washing or drinking," Pring told THE FUTURIST. "The situation got so bad that local authorities insisted on environmental courts."

Pring's Environmental Law Clinic trains law students to be environment-specific lawyers. Student-instructor teams representing plaintiffs in environmental lawsuits on a pro-bono basis have won cases to protect many endangered wildlife species, and they successfully sued to thwart construction of a natural-gas terminal at a biologically diverse area in the Coronado Islands, near Mexico's Baja Peninsula.

The United States has very few environmental courts, while Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Sudan, and Thailand have all created environmental courts in recent years.

Sweden has local environmental courts, as well as national courts to which plaintiffs can appeal the local decisions. A windmill company received approval from the Umea Environmental Court to build 19 mountaintop windmills near Umea, Sweden, but the county government opposed their construction and re-filed suit with the national Environmental Court of Appeal. This appeals court approved 14 of the 19 windmills, concluding that the remaining five posed too many environmental risks.

"Environmental courts are such a great way to ensure that your country has sustainable development that doesn't affect the social or health futures of later generations," says Pring. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ecosystems Get Their Day in Court: Specialized Judges and Lawyers Will Tackle Complex Environmental Cases
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.