Thursday, October 8, 2015
Citizen Suits and Environmental Activism in Israel
(Conferences / Seminars / Lectures)
Full Title: "Citizen Suits and Environmental Activism in Israel: What Happens When One Country Opened the Gates of its Courts Up to the Public"
Presenter: Alon Tal, MSU's Visiting Serling Israeli Scholar, Ben Gurion University
Almost sixty years ago, Israel was one of the first countries to implement a law allowing the general public to file criminal indictments against polluters. Moreover, Israel's Supreme Court has extremely liberal rules of standing for administrative appeals that can file petitions against governmental agencies for inadequate efforts to protect the environment. As a result, Israel's civil society and individual citizens have frequently taken advantage of this opportunity, challenging polluters and the government in a broad range of legal actions. While public interest legal actions have led to scores of environmental victories, numerous environmental indicators suggest that many other battles have been lost. This talk explores the potential and limitations of using the courts to promote environmental interests and the lessons it can teach environmental activists everywhere. Co-sponsored with the College of Law, Asian Studies Center, and the Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy Program.