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Chinese courts conclude 19,000 criminal cases on pollution

(Xinhua)    13:26, March 13, 2016

China's court system concluded 19,000 criminal cases involving environmental pollution and undermining resources in 2015, up 18.8 percent year on year, a work report of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) said Sunday.

Courts at all levels also concluded 78,000 civil cases concerning environmental protection, Chief Justice Zhou Qiang said in the report at the annual session of national legislature.

An intermediate court of eastern Fujian Province concluded the country's first public interest litigation concerning environment, according to the report.

In January last year, two non-governmental organizations filed a lawsuit against four individuals for severely damaging forests in Nanping City, Fujian Province.

The Nanping City Intermediate People's Court demanded that the four individuals restore the damaged forests and plant trees, otherwise they would be fined 2.37 million yuan (364,600 U.S. dollars).

The first public interest litigation case followed the 2012 amendment to the Civil Procedure Law, which allowed agencies or organizations to bring litigation against those who undermined public welfare by infringing on consumers' interests.

The work report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), which was delivered by Procurator-General Cao Jianming to the national legislature on Sunday, said procuratorates at all levels also sought bringing public interest litigation by prosecutors.

The SPP work report said in the 13 provincial regions carrying out the pilot project, procuratorates initiated pre-litigation processes for 325 cases and 224 cases were rectified by related government bodies.

Besides the six litigations brought by social organizations, 12 litigations were brought by procuratorates, Cao said in the SPP work report.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Gao Yinan,Bianji)

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