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The Legal Interpretation Path to Realizing Environmental Public Interest Litigation in China

Author: ZhouFuRong
Tutor: ShiJun
School: Ocean University of China
Course: Environment and Resources Protection Law
Keywords: environmental public interest litigation the path of realization legal interpretation
CLC: D925
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 261
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It is becoming a consensus that establishing environmental public interestlitigation system in our country, with the increasingly serious environmental problems.The first step of environmental public interest litigation is that qualified plaintiff suesand the court accepts it in accordance with the law. But the provisions of "directinterest" in Civil Procedure Law and "legal interest" in Administrative Procedure Lawlimit the plaintiff qualification, and that hinders the realization of this step. Facing theproblem of how to solve this dilemma of environmental public interest litigation,scholars propose different solution paths. Comparing the paths, the legal interpretationpath is the better choice under the recent condition, because of its lower cost, lessresistance and more feasible.The legal interpretation is a tool, and itself contains the analysis and judgment onbasic legal values. Before choosing the methods of legal interpretation, it is needed toweigh the values first, and then select the appropriate methods of legal interpretation,to realize environmental public interest litigation. Therefore, the thinking of the legalinterpretation on procedural laws is: determining the options of value, determining thespace for interpretation by literal interpretation, broadly interpreting "legal interest"and "direct interest", and then verifying the reasonableness of the broad interpretationby system interpretation, purpose interpretation and constitution interpretation.In the field of the civil procedure law, exists the conflict of protecting theauthority of Civil Procedure Law and protecting environmental public interest, eithercan not be neglected. The paper proceeds from the illegibility and incompleteness ofthe laws, to achieve environmental public interest litigation, on the base of respectingfor legal authority. Under this premise, by literal interpretation of "direct interest", it isclear that the extension of the "direct interest" in theory and judicial practice is far lessthan the extension of its own literal meaning, so it has the space of broadinterpretation on "direct interest". By investigating the enjoinment of environmental public interest and the responsibility to environment, this paper broadly interprets"direct interest" to make it contain the relationship of environmental public interestand the plaintiffs. And then by system interpretation, purpose interpretation andconstitution interpretation to prove that broad interpretation does not destroy theconsistency of the legal system, go against with the legislative intent of the CivilProcedure Law and conflict with the relevant provisions of the Constitution. There isalso in the area of Administrative Procedure Law conflict of authority of law andenvironmental public interest protection, but it has its particularity: environmentalpublic interest litigation is a way to antagonize administrative power by judicature.Through all value considerations, it also needs to legal-interpret AdministrativeProcedure Law in order to achieve the environmental public interest litigation. Underthis value judgment, by literal-interpreting the "legal interest", it is clear that there isstill space for interpretation on "legal interest". There are many viewpoints for theacademic meaning of the "legal interest", following their way and controlling avariety of factors of environmental public interest litigation, it is possible to broadlyinterpret "legal interest". Then, it also needs to demonstrate the rationality of broadinterpretation on "legal interest" by system interpretation, purpose interpretation andconstitution interpretation. So the obstacle of relevant provisions of procedural law toenvironmental public interest litigation has been settled preliminarily, but the scope ofplaintiff also the important part of the environmental public interest litigation. On thebasis of broad interpretation, the plaintiffs of the environmental public interestlitigation include: citizens, procuratorates, environmental protection administrativedepartments and environmental non-government organization.

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CLC: > Political, legal > Legal > Chinese law > Procedural Law
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