To extend our exchange and communication with Chinese judiciaries, on June 9th the Fujian Provincial High Court invited U.S. – Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law (PEL) to speak in Fujian, Wuyishan in front of more than 40 environmental and natural resources tribunal judges from Fujian province.
Professor David Mears, Vice Dean of the Faculty at Vermont Law School, Professor Jack Tuholske, Director of the Water and Justice Program and Professor Yanmei Lin, Associate Director of PEL presented on U.S. laws and practice in watershed management, public interest litigation, natural resources damage compensation, and U.S. National Forestry management. Throughout the presentations, key emphasis was placed on U.S. pollution treatment theories and practices, and our speakers used three U.S.-based public interest litigation cases to illustrate the critical role of citizen suits in governmental law enforcement.
It was clear by participant engagement during the Questions and Answers Session that the audience of judges connected well with the topics. They not only requested the speakers to expand on particular points, but also shared the Chinese perspective and practice under similar circumstances. This lead to a very productive and inspiring discourse over the differences between the U.S. and China, and their respective approaches to dealing with pollution, ecological damage compensation, and public interest litigation.
After the presentations, the professors and the judges from Fujian Provincial High Court reconvened to strategize on future cooperative opportunities so that we can continue to promote a rich exchange of activities, dialogues, studies and research between Vermont Law School and the Judiciaries of Fujian Province.