Does the Tiger Have Teeth? A Critical Examination of the Toolbox Approach of Environmental Law Enforcement in China

Mengxing Lu*, M.G. Faure

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

For a long period, China's environmental law has been dubbed a ‘paper tiger’ due to the truism that China's environmental legislation is plentiful but not properly enforced. During the past few years, there have been impressive strides made by Chinese policymakers to address the non-compliance and weak enforcement of China's environmental law. As a result, China has bolstered a toolbox approach of environmental law enforcement, which provides law enforcers with a variety of instruments to induce compliance. This article provides a comprehensive and dynamic analysis of the available mix of (public) enforcement instruments and their relative importance under the current enforcement regime of China's environmental law by taking the recent legal and policy developments into account. More particularly, we assess the de facto application of the smart mix of administrative and criminal enforcement tools in China, by conducting a law and economic analysis on the public enforcement data of China's environmental law between 2012 and 2020.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalReview of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • CRIME
  • CRIMINAL-LAW
  • IMPLEMENTATION
  • LIABILITY
  • POLLUTION
  • PRIVATE
  • PUBLIC-INTEREST LITIGATION
  • PUNISHMENT
  • SANCTIONS

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