BLOG : 集体诉讼在中国 / Class Actions in China
The author is one of the Lab’s students, directly from China, Xintong Sha.
English version below
Class Actions in China
Class Action is called public interest litigation in China. It includes civil public interest litigation and administrative public interest litigation. Civil public interest litigation includes environmental and consumer protection issues.
The Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, at its article 55, stipulates that:
The organs and relevant organizations stipulated in the laws such as the Environmental Protection Law and the Consumer Rights Protection Law have the right to sue for acts that damage the environment and the victims are numerous consumers and other types of acts that harm public interests. The court’s acceptance of the case includes the following conditions:
(a) There is an identified defendant;
(b) There is a specific claim;
(c) There is preliminary evidence that the public interest has been harmed;
(d) It belongs to the scope of the court accepting a civil action and the jurisdiction of the responding court.
It has to be mentioned that this article of the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China was revised in 2017. The original article 55 stipulated that “The relevant organizations that are required by law may bring lawsuits to the courts for acts that damage the environment, infringe the legitimate rights and interests of many consumers, and otherwise harm public interests”. The revised article includes, in addition, the following: “The damages of the public interest discovered by the procuratorate during the performance of its duties include: the damage to ecology, resources, and the legitimate rights and interests of consumers”.
In China, groups and organizations can only file a suit under the Environmental Protection Law and the Consumers Legitimate Rights Protection Act if they get an approval from an examination court. The newly added content enables the procuratorate to be qualified to sue for other civil public interest issues.
This content has been updated on June 20, 2018 at 9:53 am.