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
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.