People, Environment

Special Courts to Handle Environmental Cases

Special Courts to Handle Environmental CasesSpecial Courts to Handle Environmental Cases

Following agreements between the Department of Environment and the judiciary, legal cases concerning the environment will be referred to special courts whose judges are well versed in environmental law. “These special courts have been established in 20 provinces,” said Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of DOE, adding that the judiciary is fully cooperating in enacting environmental policies. “The legal authorities have taken a strict stance toward environmental crimes and issue stiffer penalties against offenders, such as three-year prison terms for poaching,” she was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency. Pointing to the bill to support park rangers, the official said it is being reviewed in Majlis Social Commission. “We have had discussions with lawmakers to speed up the process and give the bill top priority,” said Ebtekar, who doubles as a vice president. The bill in support of park rangers was drafted following the murder of three park rangers in early June. It covers a variety of issues, including legal support, severe punishment for those who shoot at rangers, giving priority to criminal cases involving threats to park rangers and coverage of their medical costs.