Court acts for en­vi­ron­ment

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - Fu­jian Daily, Jan 7 Shen­zhen Spe­cial Zone Daily, Jan 7 Peo­ple’s Court Daily, Jan 7

from past en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions that al­lowed only State-owned or­ga­ni­za­tions to raise pub­lic in­ter­est lit­i­ga­tion, a Supreme Peo­ple’s Court’s ju­di­cial ex­pla­na­tion, that came into ef­fect onWed­nes­day, grants the right to more non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions. Com­ments:

Of­fi­cial data show in about 770,000 cases a year peo­ple make of­fi­cial com­plaints about en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, but only 1 per­cent of them en­ter the ju­di­cial process; lack of pub­lic in­ter­est lit­i­ga­tion is a key rea­son. The ju­di­cial ex­pla­na­tion will def­i­nitely have a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence by break­ing the bu­reau­cratic mo­nop­oly on en­vi­ron­men­tal law­suits.

A few­days be­fore the ex­pla­na­tion, a county-level procu­ra­torate in Guizhou prov­ince sued a lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion bureau for ad­min­is­tra­tive in­ac­tion. Both the ac­tion and the ex­pla­na­tion are steps for­ward for China’s en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, and we ex­pect more leg­isla­tive work to support both gov­ern­men­tal and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions to par­tic­i­pate in the work.

It used to be that peo­ple suf­fer­ing from pol­lu­tion had no re­course to the law­be­cause of the lack of ev­i­dence to prove the causal re­la­tion­ship. The top court’s ex­pla­na­tion helps solve this prob­lem by grant­ing so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions more free­dom; in other words, there are more pairs of eyes to su­per­vise pol­lu­tion.

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