NANJING, March 1, Xinhua -- East China's Jiangsu Province will establish nine courts to handle environment-related cases in nine different ecological zones within the province.
Aerial photo taken on Sept. 1, 2018 shows an early autumn scenery of the Hongze Lake wetland in Sihong County, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua)
Different from traditional courts dealing with cases in specific administrative divisions, each of these courts will take charge of one ecological zone, such as the Yangtze River basin, Taihu Lake basin and Hongze Lake basin, according to the higher people's court of Jiangsu.
These courts will be responsible for first instance environmental cases, which are currently handled by the primary level courts, set up at the county or district level.
Environmental cases related to the administrative management of land will still be within the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts.
"Environmental issues in different places are mutually affected. Trials on many environmental crimes are in need of cooperation of different courts and related departments," said Zhao Li, a judge with the environmental division of the higher people's court of Jiangsu.
Zhao said the new establishment is more in line with reality, and it is important to set up a more practical trial mechanism for environment-related cases by breaking down administrative barriers.
China has been intensifying efforts to protect the environment. The number of environmental cases has been growing in recent years.
The new courts will also work with public security and procuratorial organs to handle crimes against environmental protection.