Obstacles to enforcement of environmental law in China – Donald Clark

 Xwzx Gnsz Gdxw 200610 25 W020061025247265358380 From The Chinese Law Prof Blog:

Beijing University’s Chinalawinfo site recently posted an interesting article on the various ways polluting enterprises obtain protection from enforcement of environmental law……. This article points up a feature of the Chinese political-legal system that, interestingly, has persisted virtually unchanged for decades despite the seismic changes occurring elsewhere in the system: the distribution of state authority according to a principle of rank. In other words, in asking whether A has the power to order B to do something, one could ask, “What is A’s lawful sphere of jurisdiction?” or one could ask, “What is the rank of A (or A’s agency) relative to B?” It’s not that the first question is meaningless or never asked; it’s just that the second question is an extremely important one, and we can’t understand how China works – at least most of the time – without asking it. [Full Text]

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