Asian Judges Symposium on Environmental Decision Making, the Rule of Law, and Environmental Justice

28 - 29 July 2010

Event Tabs


The Symposium seeks to share experience that will lead to an improvement in the quality of environmental adjudication on environment and natural resource cases in Asian jurisdictions and improving access to environmental justice. To do so, it will

  • bring together judges, environmental ministry officials, and civil society participants from Asian jurisdictions, and senior members of the judiciary and key experts from developed countries and development institutions to understand the factors that have led to the evolution of environmental jurisprudence in Asian and developed country common and civil law courts, and the ways different jurisdictions seek to promote environmental justice and ensure effective environmental adjudication;
  • consider the modes of judicial education on the environment in Asian jurisdictions and the experiences of development partners in strengthening the capacity of judges in Asia to decide environmental and natural resource cases;
  • share the work conducted under an ADB regional technical assistance project on environmental justice and adjudication; and
  • consider the need for an Asia Pacific Judges Network on the Environment.


Representatives from courts and civil society in Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, the United States, and Thailand, will share cutting edge experiences on the evolution of environmental jurisprudence and adjudication in their respective jurisdictions. Their sharing will be supported by key development partners including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United States Environmental Protection Agency, The Access Initiative, and the Supreme Court of the Philippines.


This two‐day workshop of over 100 participants will build on the ongoing work of ADB under a regional technical assistance which seeks to improve implementation of environmental law in selected Asian countries by developing a roadmap for institutionalizing a system to strengthen the capacity of judges to apply environmental and natural resources law and regulation.

The symposium’s emphasis is improving environmental and natural resource decision making and adjudication within regional judiciaries, without assuming that any particular form or structure is the best way to achieve effective environmental decision‐making and adjudication in different country contexts. It will highlight environmental specialization within general courts, as well as exploring work done by specialist environmental courts, boards, and tribunals. Importantly, without drivers for increasing the demand for effective environmental judicial decision‐making from the judiciary, environmental judicial specializations could go unused. Hence, the symposium will look at demand‐side drivers, which will include the role of civil society in creating this demand, and also looking at other ways to institutionalize access to environmental justice in developing Asia.

udges and key stakeholders will be asked to share their experiences in environmental adjudication and also, the challenges and needs that arise in doing their work. Given the many relevant issues, this year, the Symposium will emphasize an understanding of the drivers that led or are leading to progressive environmental jurisprudence and environmental adjudication, rather than focusing on specific technical legal issues. It will also seek to identify the ways of improving Asian judicial decision‐making and education to emphasize environmental and natural resource issues, the concrete needs of judges and other key stakeholders in building capacity to do so, and concrete actions to respond in those ways and to those needs. Judges and environmental officials will also discuss their need for further capacity building and whether an Asia Pacific Judges’ Network on the Environment should be established in conjunction with development partners to serve as forum for further capacity building and information exchange.


The papers submitted during the conference will be recorded in an edited volume to serve as reference on regional and international environmental adjudication, including ECTs, to inform further work on environmental adjudication in Asia and the Pacific. To achieve this purpose, the first draft of papers will be needed by 21 July 2010.

Day 1: Tuesday, 27 July 2010

18:00 - 20:30

Welcome Reception, EDSA Shangri‐la Hotel, hosted by Bindu N. Lohani, Vice-President (Finance and Administration), Asian Development Bank (ADB)


Day 2: Wednesday, 28 July 2010


Welcome Remarks

  • Bindu N. Lohani, Vice President (Finance and Administration), ADB
  • Renato Corona, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines
  • Bakary Kante, Director, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Kala Mulqueeny, Senior Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, ADB

Session 1: Judicial Innovation in Environmental Law: Landmark Cases
Session Chair: Neric Acosta, Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats

  • Indonesia: Dr. Harifin Tumpa, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Indonesia
  • Sri Lanka: Judicial Innovations in Environmental Jurisprudence, Kanagasabapathy Sripavan, Judge, Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
  • Philippines: The Manila Bay Case the Writ of Continuing Mandamus, Presbitero Velasco, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines
  • China: Wang Canfa, Director, Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims (CLAPV)
  • Brazil: Adalberto Carim Antonio, Judge Titular, Court of the Environment and Agrarian Issues, State of the Amazonas
  • Q&A Discussion

Coffee Break


Session 2: Evolution of Judicial Specialization in Environmental Law
Session Chair: Wanhua Yang, Officer in Charge, Environmental Law in Asia‐Pacific, UNEP

  • India Supreme Court : Bisheshwar Singh, Justice (retired)
  • High Court of Delhi: Hima Kohli, Judge, High Court of Delhi
  • Ministry of Environment and Forest: A Green Tribunal as the Next Step: Ishwer Singh, Director (Law), Ministry of Environment and Forests
  • Civil Society: Ritwick Dutta, founder, Legal initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE)
  • Q&A Discussion
  • People’s Republic of China (PRC)
  • Supreme People’s Court: The Road to Environmental Justice: Hong‐yu Shen, Judge, Fourth Civil Division of Supreme People’s Court
  • Guiyang Intermediate Court: Liu Ming, President of Environment Chamber, Qingzhen People’s Courts
  • Civil Society: Environmental Courts and the Development of Environmental Public Interest Litigation in China: Alex Wang, Senior Attorney and Director, China Environmental Law and Governance Project, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Zhang Jingjing, Deputy China Country Director, Public Interest Law Institute
  • Q&A Discussion

Executive Dining Room Coffee Lounge, hosted by Daniele Ponzi, Lead Environment Specialist, Regional and Sustainable Development Department, ADB


Session 3: Evolution of Judicial Specialization in Environment Law
Session Chair: Vivien Rosa Ratnawati, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia

  • Philippines (Mixed Common and Civil Law)
  • Supreme Court – Establishing Green Courts and Environmental Rules of Procedure Reynato Puno, former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines
  • Green Trial Court – Handling Environment Cases in the Islands Marilyn Yap, Judge, Regional Trial Court, Philippines
  • The Laws of Nature Foundation – From Oposa vs. Factoran to the Tanon Strait to the Rainwater Catchment Case
  • Antonio Oposa, President, Laws of Nature Foundation
  • Q&A Discussion
  • International Panel (Common Law)
  • Queensland, Australia, Michael Rackemann, Judge, Queensland Planning and Environment Court
  • United States, Siu Tip Lam, Director, U.S. China Partnership for Environmental Law, and Assistant Professor, Vermont Law School
  • New Zealand, Marlene Oliver, Environment Commissioner, Environment Court of New Zealand
  • Q&A Discussion
Coffee Break

Session 4: Judicial Specialization in Environmental Law
Session Chair: Patricia Moore, Head, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Regional Environmental Law Programme

  • Thailand (Civil Law)
  • Supreme Court (Environmental Division): Environmental Law in the Thai Supreme Court Green Bench Justice Winai Ruangsri, Research Justice, Environmental Division
  • Supreme Administrative Court: The Development of Legal Principles on Environmental Disputes: Experiences of the Thai Administrative Court Prapot Klaisuban, Judge, Central Administrative Court
  • Civil Society: Environmental Protection in Thailand through the Courts Srisuwan Janya, President, Stop Global Warming Association
  • International Panel
  • Australia: Judicial Specialization in Environmental Law: 12 Advantages Brian Preston, Chief Judge, New South Wales Land and Environment Court
  • Brazil: Dr. Vladimir Passos de Freitas, former Chief Judge of the Federal Appeals Court for the Fourth Region
  • France: Jean Philippe Rivaud, former Senior Judge, Court of Appeal of Amiens, Deputy Prosecutor General (prosecutor in charge of the environment), French Judicial Academy
  • Q&A Discussion
18:00 - 20:00

Photo Session and Reception,Mezzanine ADB Cafeteria
Video Message from Antonio Benjamin, Justice, Superior Tribunal de Justica (High Court of Brazil) on “The Role of the Judiciary in Protecting the Environment”


Day 2: Thursday, 29 July 2010


Session 5: Trans‐Judicial Networks for the Environment
Session Chair: Milag Ballesteros, Secretariat, Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN)

  • International Network on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Scott Fulton, General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, United States Environmental Protection Agency, former Environmental Appeals Board Judge (via video message)
  • LAWASIA Brian Preston, Chair, LAWASIA Environmental Committee
  • European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment, Dr. Luc Lavrysen, President, European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment (EUFJE) (via video conference)
  • Asia Pacific Judges Association, Hima Kohli, Judge, High Court of Delhi and Vice President, Asia Pacific Judges Association
  • Q&A Discussion
Coffee Break

Session 6: Judicial Specialization in Environmental Law
Session Chair: Robert Ward, Regional Counsel, United States Environmental Protection Agency

  • Indonesia (Civil Law)
  • Supreme Court: Institutionalizing Green Judges and Green Rules of Procedure: Indonesian Efforts: Takdir Rahmadi, Justice, Supreme Court
  • District Court: Prim Haryadi, Vice‐Chief Judge, Depok District Court
  • Ministry of Environment: Judicial Certification as a Pillar of the Green One Roof System: Establishing Systems of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement: Ilyas Asaad, Deputy Minister, Environmental Compliance
  • Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL): The Relevance of a Greenbench to Save Indonesia’s Environment: Mas Achmad Santosa, Founder / Member of Presidential Task Force / Advisor to the President
  • Q&A Discussion

Session 7: International Experience in Environmental Boards and Tribunals
Session Chair: Nessim J. Ahmad, Director, Environment and Safeguards Division concurrently Practice Leader (Environment), ADB

  • Pakistan Environmental Tribunal: Ashraf Jahan, Chair, Sindh Environmental Tribunal Karachi
  • United States, Environmental Appeals Board: Kathie Stein, Judge
  • Japan Environmental Dispute Coordination Commission: Yoshikazu Suzuki, Examiner
  • South Korea National Environment Dispute Resolution Commission: Kim Won Min, Chair
  • Q&A Discussion
Lunch Break: Executive Dining Room Coffee Lounge hosted by Jeremy H. Hovland, General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, ADB

Session 8: Institutionalizing Systems for Promoting Environmental Law in Judicial Education
Session Chair: Kathie Stein, Judge, U.S. Environmental Appeals Board

  • Philippine Judicial Academy, Delilah Magtolis, Head, Academic Affairs
  • Thailand Judicial Training Institute, Judge Sarawut Benjakul, Deputy Secretary‐General
  • Indonesia Judicial Training Center, Agung Sumantha, Head, Judicial Techniques

Break‐out Groups on Challenges of Environmental Decision Making
Download full Program Agenda for details of parallel breakout sessions

Coffee Break
Plenary Reports on Break‐out Groups on Challenges of Environmental Decision Making (5‐10 minutes each)

Session Chair: Kala Mulqueeny, Senior Counsel,Office of the General Counsel, ADB

  • Session 9: Challenges in Judicial Decision Making on Environmental Issues: Expert Evidence and Remedies
  • Session 10: Challenges in Dispute Resolution: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Environmental Cases
  • Session 11: Challenges in Environmental Justice: Access to Justice
  • Session 12: Strengthening Judicial Capacity to Decide Environmental Cases and Resisting Threats to Integrity

Session 13: Asian Judges and the Environment: Capacity Needs and Potential for a Network? Panel Discussion: Asian Courts Views: Brief Reflections (5 minutes each)
Session Chair: Hamid L. Sharif, Principal Director, Central Operations Services Office, ADB

  • Supreme Court of the Philippines, Renato Corona, Chief Justice
  • Supreme Court of Indonesia, Harifin Tumpa, Chief Justice
  • Supreme Court of Thailand, Peerapol Pitchayawat, Vice‐President
  • Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Mirza Hussain Haider, Justice, High Court Division
  • Supreme People’s Court of PRC, Hong‐yu Shen, Fourth Civil Division
  • Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, K. Sripavan, Justice
  • Q & A; Discussion

Concluding Thoughts from Development Partners (5 minutes)

  • Lalanath De Silva, Director, The Access Initiative, World Resources Institute
  • Milag Ballesteros, Secretariat, AECEN
  • Kathie Stein, Judge, Environmental Appeals Board, United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Nagai Masa, Senior Legal Officer, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, UNEP
17:50 - 18:00

Jeremy H. Hovland, General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, ADB

Preliminary Materials

Program Agenda

245.09 KB
Preliminary Materials

Concept Note

171.05 KB
Preliminary Materials

Background Paper

276 KB
1.14 MB