Implementation Measures For Pilots On People's Courts Hearing Public Interest Lawsuits Initiated by People's Procuratorates

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【Issuing Body】Supreme People's Court
【Issuance Number】Legal Release (2016) No. 6
【Date of Issue】2016-02-25
【Effective Date】2016-03-01
【Expiration Date】
【Document Type】Policy reference
【Document Source】People's Court Daily

【Source】: http://www.chinacourt.org/law/detail/2016/02/id/148645.shtml

 

Supreme People's Court
Notice on Releasing "Implementation Measures For Pilots On People's Courts Hearing Public Interest Lawsuits Initiated By People's Procuratorates"
Legal Release (2016) No. 6

 

High people's courts of all provinces, autonomous regions and directly governed municipalities, the PLA military courts, High People's Court of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region branch of the production and construction Corps:

The Court has formulated the "Implementation Measures For Pilots On People's Courts Hearing Public Interest Lawsuits Initiated By People's Procuratorates," on the basis of the "Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Authorizing the Supreme People's Procuratorate to Conduct Pilot Work of Public Interest Litigation in Certain Regions," in order to comprehensively implement the spirits of the Fourth Plenum of the 18th Party Central Committee, to complete the judicial reform task of exploring procuratorial organs initiating public interest litigation as deployed by the Central Committee, and to ensure the correct hearing of public interest lawsuits initiated by people's procuratorates. These Measures, having been passed by the 1679th Meeting of the Adjudicatory Committee of the Supreme People's Court on February 22, 2016, are hereby released, to take effect on March 1, 2016, and to be faithfully executed by the people's courts in the pilot regions. Please timely report to the Supreme People's Court important situations and problems encountered during the implementation.

 

Supreme People's Court
2/25/2016

 

These Measures were formulated on the basis of provisions of the Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China, the Administrative Litigation Law of the People's Republic of China, and other laws, combining actual adjudicatory work situations, in order to implement the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Authorizing the Supreme People's Procuratorate to Conduct Pilot on Public Interest Litigation in Certain Regions, and to hear public interest lawsuits initiated by the people's procuratorates in accordance with law.

I. Civil Public Interest Lawsuits

Article 1: Where the people's procuratorates, having found that the defendants have committed acts of harming social public interest such as polluting the environment, harming the ecology, or violating the lawful rights and interests of many consumers in the areas of food and drug safety, initiate civil public interest lawsuits in the people's courts in the absence of any competent entity or where the competent entity does not initiate litigation, in compliance with provisions of Items 2 and 3 of Article 119 of the Civil Procedure Law, the people's courts shall register and file the cases.

Article 2: People's procmurotrates initiating civil public interest lawsuits shall submit the following materials:

(1) A Complaint meeting the requirements of Civil Procedure Law article 121, and copies corresponding to the number of defendants.

(2) Preliminary evidentiary materials of acts harming social public interest such as polluting the environment, harming the ecology, or violating the lawful rights and interests of many consumers in the areas of food and drug safety;

(3) Evidentiary materials that the people's procuratorates have fulfilled the pre-litigation procedure to urge or support the institutions or relevant organizations stipulated by law to initiation civil public interest litigation;

Article 3: People's procuratorates raising civil public interest lawsuits may submit litigation demands such as requesting that the defendant stop violations, eliminate obstacles, remove harms, restore original conditions, make compensation for harms, or make formal apologies.

Article 4: The procedural rights and obligations of people's procuratorates raising civil public interest lawsuits as public interest litigants reference provisions of the Civil Procedure Law on the procedural rights and obligations of plaintiffs. The defendants in civil public interest litigation are citizens, legal persons or other organizations that have been accused of carrying out conduct harming the societal public interest.

Article 5: Civil environmental public interest cases of the first instance raised by people's procuratorates are within the jurisdiction of the Intermediate People’s Court for the area where the infringing conduct occurred, where its harmful consequences occurred, or where the defendant is located; except where otherwise provided by laws or judicial interpretations.

Article 6: Where a people's court hears a civil public interest lawsuit initiated by a people's procuratorate and the defendant files a counter-complaint, the people's court shall not accept it.

Article 7: Where people's courts hearing civil public interest lawsuits by people's procuratorates on the first instance, the use of people's assessors applies in principle.

Where a party applies to not have the case tried by the people's assessor system, the people's court may, upon review, decide to not apply the people's assessor system at trial.

Article 8: After people's procuratorates and defendants reach a settlement agreement or a mediation agreement, the people's court shall publicly announce the content of the agreement and the period for the public announcement is at least 30 days.

Where after the public announcement period is completed, the people's court finds that the content of a settlement or mediation agreement does not harm the public interest, it shall issue a mediation document.

Article 9: Where the people's pocuratorate requests to withdraw the suit before the completion of courtroom debate, or requests to withdraw the case after the courtroom debate has concluded and all litigation demands have been realized, it should be approved.

Article 10: Where, in accordance with law, parties appeal, people's procuratorates protest, or other parties petition for retrial of civil public interest litigation verdicts or judgement rendered by people's courts, in compliance with the provisions of Article 200 of the Civil Procedure Law, [the people's courts] shall hear them in accordance with the second-instance procedure and trial supervision procedure stipulated by the Civil Procedure Law, respectively.

II. Administrative public interest lawsuits

Article 11: Where the people's procuratorates, having found that administration agencies or organizations with the authorization of laws, regulations, or rules that bear supervisory and administration duties in areas such as the protection of ecological environmental and resources, the protection of state-owned assets, and state-owned land-use right transfer exercise their authorities in violation of law or do not fulfill statutory duties, causing harm to State and social public interest, initiate administration public interest litigation in people's courts, in compliance with with provisions of Items 2 and 3 of Article 49 of the Administrative Litigation Law, the people's courts shall register and file the cases.

Article 12: People's procmurotrates initiating civil administrative interest lawsuits shall submit the following materials:

(1) An administrative lawsuit complaint, and copies corresponding to the number of defendants.

(2) preliminary evidentiary materials showing that the defendants' conduct caused harm to state or public interests.

(3) Evidentiary materials that the people's procuratorates have fulfilled the pre-litigation procedure of submitting procuratorial suggestions to relevant administrative agencies, urging them to correct unlawful administrative acts or fulfilling statutory duties according to law.

Article 13: Procuratorates raising administrative public interest lawsuits may submit litigation demands to the people's court such as for annulment or partial annulment of unlawful administrative conduct, performance of administrative duties within a set time period, or confirming the illegality or invalidity of administrative conduct.

Article 14: The procedural rights and obligations of people's procuratorates raising administrative public interest lawsuits as public interest litigants reference provisions of the Administrative Litigation Law on the procedural rights and obligations of plaintiffs. The defendants in administrative public interest litigation are administrative organs; as well as organizations authorized by laws, regulations or rules; that exercise powers or have administrative responsibility, in areas such as ecological and environmental protection, protection of State assets, and transfer of state-owned land usage rights.

Article 15: Jurisdiction of first-instance public interest administrative litigation raised by the procuratorate is with people's court for the area of the administrative organ that made the earliest administrative active. For cases that have had a reconsideration, jurisdiction may also be had by the basic level people's court at the location of the reconsidering organ.

Intermediate people's courts have jurisdiction over cases where the people's procuratorates initiate public interest litigation against administrative acts performed by departments under the State Council or by people's governments at or above the county level and over important or complex public interest litigation cases within their jurisdictional regions.

Article 16: Where people's courts hear first-instance cases of public interest administrative lawsuits raised by the procuratorate, in principle, the people's assessor system is applied.

Article 17: Where people's courts hear public interest administrative lawsuits raised by the people's procuratorate, mediation is not applied

Article 18: Where the people's procuratorate applies to withdraw the suit before a people's court announces the judgment or ruling in a public interest administrative lawsuit, the people's court rules on whether or not to allow it.

Article 19: Where, in accordance with law, parties appeal, people's procuratorates protest, or other parties petition for retrial of administrative public interest litigation verdicts or judgement rendered by people's courts, in compliance with the provisions of Article 91 of the Administrative Litigation Law, [the people's courts] shall hear them in accordance with the second-instance procedure and trial supervision procedure stipulated by the Administrative Litigation Law, respectively.

III. Other Provisions

Article 20: People's courts shall hear public interest lawsuits initiated by people's procuratorates in open court according to law. People's courts can invite delegates to the people's congresses and members of the political consultative conferences to observe trials, and can satisfy the need of the public and of the media to know about the live situation of trials with live or recorded broadcast of trials. The judgement documents shall be publicly released on the Internet according to relevant regulations.

Article 21: Where people's courts hearing public interest lawsuits raised by the people's procuratorate find that they should submit a judicial suggestion, it is handled in accordance with the "Supreme People's Court Opinion on Judicial Suggestions".

Article 22: Where people's courts hear public interest lawsuits raised by the people's procuratorate, the people's procuratorate is excused from paying the litigation fees provided for in article 6 of the "Litigation Fees Payment Measures".

Article 23: Where people's courts hear public interest lawsuits raised by the people's procuratorate and these Measures have not made provisions, apply the provisions of the "PRC Civil Procedure Law", the "PRC Administrative Litigation Law" and relevant judicial interpretations.

IV. Supplementary Provisions

Article 24: These Measures apply to the 13 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities of Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Jiangsu, Anhui, Fujian, Shandong, Hubei, Guangzhou, Guizhou, Yunnan, Shaanxi, and Gansu.

Article 25: These Measures take effect on March 1, 2016.

 

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