Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court published a white paper on the trials of environmental cases on June 5, the 47th World Environment Day, in an effort to crack down on environmental crimes and manage ecosystems.
The paper revealed that from January 2015 to May 2018, courts at all levels in Zhejiang dealt with a total of 15,756 environment-related criminal, civil and administrative cases, 15,103 of which were solved.
The paper also exemplified 10 cases that were of typical anti-environment traits, aiming to further increase people's awareness towards environmental protection.
Zhejiang in recent years has exerted great efforts to improve its judicial activism for environmental protection, including setting up special courts to handle environmental cases and to combat these types of crimes.
Zhu Xinli, vice president of the Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court, said that local courts were working hard to seek a balance between judicial decisions and environment protection.
For example, they were taking active measures against environmental crimes, especially those related to forestry, fishery and water resources.
They now preferred penalties that would be good to both ecological restoration and education, such as indoctrination through labor, afforestation, fish breeding, and fines.
Along with the provincial higher court setting up the specialized tribunal for environment cases in 2017, three municipal intermediate courts in the cities of Huzhou, Shaoxing and Quzhou have closely followed the lead, along with 24 other courts setting up professional teams and collegiate benches.
The news conference of a white paper on the trials of environmental cases is held in Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court, Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, on June 5. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]