New Hawaii Environmental Court

SORCE: Dick Mayer (
SUBHEAD: The court will have jurisdiction over cases of air pollution, environmental impact statements and more.

By Lorin Eleni Gill on 12 June 2015 for Hawaii Business News-

Image above: Stock photo of hands protecting environment. From original article.

The University of Hawaii law school, the Hawaii State Judiciary, and environmental organizations are gearing up for the launch of Hawaii's environmental court on July 1 — the second of its kind in the nation.

Under the new system, the Hawaii Supreme Court chief justice designates one or more environmental judges for each circuit and for a district court within each circuit.

“Hawaii’s environmental court is a historic milestone for our island and the U.S.,” said Denise Antolini, UH William S. Richardson School of Law associate dean of academic affairs. "As the second U.S. state to have such a court, we join a growing global moment where hundreds of “green courts” have been established to provide consistent and expert guidance from the judges involved.”

Those who advocated for the court’s creation say the environmental court will be a more effective way of enforcing existing environmental laws. In the past, cases might have received different outcomes depending on which court received the complaint.

The court will have exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings that involve cases in historic preservation, litter control, recycling, solid waste, safe drinking water, air pollution, environmental impact statements and more.

“Environmental courts have been successful in other communities where a sensitive environment is key to the wealth and health of its residents,” Alexandra Avery, president of the Outdoor Circle, said in a statement.

A free symposium co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Program of the William S. Richardson School of Law, Natural Resources Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association, and the Outdoor Circle, with support from the Hawaii Community Foundation will be held Friday, June 26.

The new Hawaii court joins more than 350 environmental courts in 41 different countries around the globe.



Anonymous said...

How will these "green" judges be chosen? What would be their qualifications? Wouldn't common law courts be more appropriate, where the People decide, not some random guy in a black robe?

Anonymous said...

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