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Special> NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2015> Latest Headlines
UPDATED: March 13, 2015
Prosecutors to Take More Environment Litigation for Public Interest

The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) will engage prosecutors more in environment litigation for public interest, its chief Cao Jianming said in Beijing Thursday.

While delivering the SPP work report to the national legislature at the ongoing annual session, Cao highlighted a case in Jiangsu Province, in which prosecutors assisted an environmental organization in Taizhou City to file a public interest lawsuit against six chemical companies, with unqualified waste water treatment services, heavily polluting a local river. The court upheld the plaintiff and ordered a compensation of 160 million yuan ($26 million) for the pollution.

The Environmental Protection Law, revised in April, allows environmental organizations to file public interest litigation as plaintiffs.

In January, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) issued an interpretation ruling non-governmental organizations to bring lawsuits against those who commit environmental violations.

The participation of prosecutors in environment litigation for public interest is not only considered a deterrence to polluters but also a judicial supervision on abuse of power or malfeasance.

Nationwide courts also played more harshly against polluters with the number of pollution-related criminal cases increasing by 8.5 times in 2014, according to the work report of the SPC, also tabled to the national legislature for review.

Civil cases about damage of pollution increased by 51 percent year on year.

About 25,800 people were charged with crimes such as damaging the environment, illegal logging and illegal farming on grassland in 2014, up 23 percent over the previous year.

About 1,200 officials from environment departments were prosecuted for corruption.

(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2015)

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