Dar, Beijing to enhance cooperation in environmental justice

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Deputy Chief Justice and Vice-President of Supreme People’s Court of China, Justice Yang Linping, on Wednesday called for enhanced cooperation between judiciary of Tanzania and China on rule of law in environmental justice to protect the environment.

Justice Yang made the call when she visited the Chief Justice of Tanzania, Professor Ibrahim Juma in his office at the Court of Appeal building in Dar es Salaam, to discuss various judicial issues and areas of cooperation between the Judiciary of Tanzania and that of China.

“There is a need for us to enhance our cooperation in rule of law in environmental justice between China and Africa and between China and Tanzania because environmental justice is shared region for all human kind,” she said.

Justice Yang pointed out that China and Tanzania were already strategic cooperation partners, as President Xi Jinping has a close relationship with the President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

“China and Tanzania are good friends and also Tanzania played very important role in global environmental protection. I believe that we should also enhance our cooperation in justice especially environmental justice between our judiciaries,” she said.

Justice Yang pointed out that the system in Tanzania is well established and it has been there since the founding of the country, thus China in that area would like to learn more from Tanzania’s experience.

“In China, we have some good environmental cases to share with you, so that we can learn from each other’s best practices. We need to take preventive measures to protect the environment, be pragmatic to take the initiatives and act at court level,” she appealed.

She disclosed a plan to invite the Chief Justices of African countries to visit China and discuss judicial cooperation, especially on environmental issues. She extended initiation to the Chief Justice of Tanzania to visit China next year.

On his part, the Prof Juma told his guest that the area of environmental justice is covered by myriads of legislations and most of the work of the court is to interpret those laws. He said apart from courts, there are also some institutes which also enforce environmental justice in Tanzania.

“We have among others, the Environmental Management Act of 2002, the Wildlife Conservation Act, the Forestry Act, Marine Parks and Reserves Act, Fisheries Act. If you read all those laws, you could note how they protect certain aspects of the environment,” he said.

Prof Juma pointed out some of the areas of cooperation between the Judiciary of China and Tanzania, including the information communication technology and there were also organisations within the judiciary where people-to-people could cooperate.

“I noted that you have Women Judges Association of China, we also have Women Judges Association of Tanzania. So, these are the areas where people-to-people can cooperate….

“In the area of technology, China is far ahead of Tanzania and in some of our reforms, we have searched what China has done in areas of transcribing and translation to make access to justice easier. So, this is another area where we have a lot to cooperate,” the Chief Justice told his guests.

He thanked his guest for coming to Tanzania and visiting the Judiciary of Tanzania, as they have covered several areas which are very important, not only for the friendship of the two countries but also cooperation between the judiciaries.

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