Book – Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts

The University of Denver has posted an online version of the following book on environmental courts in foreign countries.

Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts

George Pring and Katherine Pring

Access Initiative, 2009

Book description:

Over the last three decades judicial institutions in some

countries have responded to environmental challenges

in innovative ways. Perhaps the best example is the

Green Bench of the Supreme Court of India that hears

public interest environmental cases filed by citizens.

In other countries, Governments have set up specialized

environmental courts and tribunals. The Land and

Environment Court of New South Wales, Australia, is a

leading example of a specialized court. Over 350 specialized

environmental courts and tribunals have been

established in 41 countries.

Nevertheless, most citizens still lack adequate access to

justice. Comparative research to help us with a deeper

understanding of the capabilities and impact of these

institutions is almost non-existent. Greening Justice:

Creating and Improving Environmental Courts and Tribunals

seeks to fill this knowledge gap in the hope that all

those involved in creating or improving these specialized

institutions will have the benefit of a growing body

of global experiences.

George and Catherine Pring, a professor at the University

of Denver Sturm College of Law and a professional

mediator, respectively, from Colorado, authored this

volume based on field research they completed over the

last two years. They have interviewed judges, lawyers,

litigants, officials, and civil society representatives in

dozens of countries to unravel the key characteristics —

the “building blocks” — which contribute to making

environmental courts and tribunals effective in providing

citizen access to justice in environmental matters.

They identified 12 such characteristics and present them

with examples of successes and failures from around

the world. For those involved in creating or improving

environmental courts and tribunals, one of the most

useful aspects is the examples of best available practices

relating to each of the 12 characteristics. The volume

also provides a framework against which to assess existing

or proposed institutions.

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