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China mulls allowing public interest litigation

(Xinhua)

10:57, October 25, 2011

The first plenary meeting of the 23rd session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee is held in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 24, 2011. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, presided over the meeting. (Xinhua/Fan Rujun)

BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Legislators are to discuss a change in the law that would make it easier for court cases to be brought against those involved in environmental and food safety scandals.

A draft of the proposed new legislation was formally filed Monday, the first day of the bi-monthly meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee. It will be discussed before the session ends Saturday.

The "public interest litigation", designed to deal with large-scale violations of public interests, would allow government and non-government organizations to take big businesses to court on behalf of individuals or small groups of citizens.

It comes in the wake of several pollution and food safety incidents in China. Earlier this month, Wal-Mart was fined for mislabeling ordinary pork as "green pork" in a number of its outlets in Chongqing, for example.

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