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Environmental Public Interest Litigation

Time:2014-03-13 Hit:897
Environmental Public Interest Litigation

"Environmental public interest litigation" is defined as the system under which society members including citizens, business, institutions, and social groups may, as specially provided by law, file a litigation with the competent court against the relevant civil subject(s) and/or administrative authority when the environment is, or maybe polluted or damaged, for the purpose of protecting the environmental public interest from any (possible) damage.

  Compared with the traditional remedies for environmental tort, those provided in civil litigation for environmental interest are preventive and indirectly relevant. Such litigation plays a vital role in society and constitutes a practical pathway for legal supervision and a mechanism for compensation. For damages resulting from environmental damage, it helps compensate for weaknesses in the environmental administration by the State and allows citizens to exercise their environmental rights.


  According to the principle “where there is a right, there is protection where there is damage, there is compensation", when any environmental right is, or maybe infringed. It is most useful to qualify the party concerned to file an environmental litigation. The principles of people's sovereignty by law under the Constitution of China, the ecological right of the citizens under the Environmental Protection Law, and the expanded theory of competent parties under the procedural law provide solid legal grounds for the system. As provided in Article 26 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, "The State protects and improves the living environment and the ecological environment and prevents pollution and other public nuisance incidents." These provisions confirm the environmental right of the citizens in the form of the State's obligation. According to the Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China, "All the organizations and individuals should protect the environment and have the right to inform against and sue any organization or individual who pollutes or does damage to the environment. " The right to "sue" in these provisions is a right of action.

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