Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

The Construction of China's Environmental Public Interest Litigation Mechanism

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

The Construction of China's Environmental Public Interest Litigation Mechanism

Article excerpt

Abstract

The environmental public interest litigation could promote the execution of environmental law and provide the public a way to anticipate. In order to protect the public participation in environmental justice, before public interest litigation, we should establish a consultation mechanism.

Key Words: Public participation; Public interest litigation; Consultation mechanism

1. THE DEFINITION OF PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION

In China, the public participation principle of environmental affairs has been set up for a long time, later introducing a number of specific provisions, but in practice, the lack of institutionalized public participation was a serious problem. The reason is there are no proper channels to the public, and the public do not have the opportunities, means there is no way to be involved. For violation of environmental laws, administrative authorities as the offense, if government cannot provide a mechanism for the public to be oversight, then, the people's democratic right to participate in and enjoy good environmental interests cannot be guaranteed in the same time. Litigation provides such a mechanism, because "Weak victim litigation activities nationals in the hands of the most powerful means for a long time, has formed a strong public opinion, and social problems continue to prosecute to the proceedings as an opportunity to evoke concern about social issues, promote the process of legislative, administrative activities meanwhile". (Kojima Takeshi, 2003, p. 70)

Litigation can be divided into a public interest litigation and private interest litigation. The public interest litigation originated in Roman law, with respect to the private interest litigation. Private interest litigation is the only specific talent in order to protect individual rights lawsuit can be filed, public interest litigation is a lawsuit in order to protect the social and public interests, except the special regulation in law, and every citizen could promote litigation.

Compare to private interest litigation, the purpose of public interest litigation is to preside social justice, social equity, and maintaining national and public interests (LU & WU, 2007, p. 70). Accordingly, the public environment illegalities proceedings can be divided into two categories, a plaintiff has itself infringed by environmental use of the environment and resource development actors or permission of the lawsuit brought by the development and utilization of the environment and resources of government authority as a defendant here can be further divided into the environment, civil litigation and environmental administrative proceedings, which is characterized by "private is private interest"; and the other is "the plaintiff is not for their own interests have been infringed, but for the purpose of social environment might have been compromised, use of the environment and resource development actors or government agencies that license the development and utilization of the environment and resources for the defendant to the request of the court's decision to stop the development and utilization of behavior or declared invalid administrative license litigation" (WANG, 2007, p. 41). This is an environmental public interest litigation, which is characterized by private charity. Ideas on environmental public interest litigation are institutionalized means of achieving environmental justice and environmental democracy, this litigation inspires public participation, giving opportunity, means and ways to public participation in environmental affairs, and its purpose is to seek changes in environmental laws and applied in a manner, which transform even reshape society as a whole.

2. THE IMPORTANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION

2.1 Urge Environmental Administrative Law's Enforcement

Environmental public interest litigation is "the purpose of the promotion of public welfare institution with the elements of the litigation, litigation actual implementers or should advocate considerable interests associated with the disputed event, but the actual purpose of the litigation is often not for relief in the case, judge the Government or controlled by actively taking certain statutory promoting the common good as the validity of the judgment may not be confined to the parties to the litigation" (YE, 2003, p. …

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