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Environmental Public Interest Litigation Plaintiff Qualification

Posted on:2013-07-26Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:L ZhangFull Text:PDF
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Many countries have established environmental public interest litigation system; however, China is still in lack of such supporting systems despite of many increasingly serious environmental problems. The plaintiff qualification is of vital importance to establishing an environmental public interest litigation system. Accurately specifying the plaintiff qualifications will make significant positive impact on the society, such as helping encourage public to participate in supervision and management of the national public environmental affairs, promoting social justice, satisfying community’s practical needs to, achieving environmental justice, protecting the ecological environment and so on.The research of environmental public interest litigation system has a profound theoretical significance. The environmental rights mostly refer to public matters with unclear property rights and inexclusive features, which results in the consequence where it cannot find relief channel from the existing ordinance for many environmental violations. The traditional litigation theory and procedural mechanisms are way too rigid and conservative for dealing with the contemporary problems. The public interests cannot be protected at large if strictly following the established theories.The research of environmental public interest litigation system is also of practical significance. As a new mode of litigation, environmental public interest litigation applies to the specialized field of environmental protection; this new mode of litigation can provide the citizens with many opportunities to be involved in the monitoring environment. Environment public interest litigation has gradually improved in many countries. Due to the unique circumstances, it is important for China to learn from litigation models that are comply with country-specific conditions.Many countries have established public interest litigation systems with their own unique provisions of the plaintiff standing to sue. The United States is among the first to introduce environmental public interest litigation. The creation of "citizen suit" provisions in the Clean Air Act in1970make anyone qualified for suing the pollution of air, without the need for the plaintiff in the legal proceedings of any interest. France allows public interest groups to prosecute on behalf of victims. The UK’s Pollution Control Act has similar provisions with USA.It has attracted a lot of attention in environmental public interest litigation and the plaintiff’s equalizations in recent years, it also causes disputes. Several researches have expressed their points of view, including Professor Cao Mingde from Southwest University of Political Science and Law and Professor Li Zhiping from Wuhan Univerisity. The current state in mainland China is that public interest litigation right is only withheld by state prosecutors. The provisions of the Civil Procedure Law and Administrative Procedure Law state that the plaintiff must be a direct relevant and this in fact excluded the individual citizens and public organizations’ legal standings. In Taiwan, the legal standings of individual citizens and public organizations are granted. Overview of the status of China’s research on environmental litigation plaintiff qualifications, most of them focus on individuals, no in-depth research on public prosecutor has been carried out.China’s environmental public interest litigation system is in the exploratory phase in both theoretical and practical aspects, it is highly controversial whether China should establish a system with diversified plaintiff qualifications. Using historical analysis can prove the legitimacy of the system. Environmental public interest litigation as a new type of litigation has foundation for civil litigation and the reality for public authority to intervene. Due to multiple environmental benefits there are a wide range of features for the litigation. It is necessary and desirable to comprehensively analyze the pros and cons of multiple subjects being involved in the litigation Legal terms need to be explained form new perspectives corresponding to the revolution of a legal system. For example, whether "interest" includes any interest other than the property interests, the spiritual interests originated from entertainment rights. At this point one needs to use the methods of legal interpretation to explain the terms clear.The core of environmental litigation is to determine the plaintiff qualifications, and therefore in-depth study of the plaintiff’s qualifications will help to deepen the understanding of the environmental public interest litigation system, and thus provide the theoretical basis for improving the legal system.
Keywords/Search Tags:Environmental rights, Environmental damage, civilprosecution, state prosecution, Environment protection groups
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