In a landmark legal victory for public interest cases, the All China Environment Federation has seen success for two of their environmental lawsuits. From the Associated Press:
An environmental group backed by the government said Friday it had won two lawsuits on behalf of residents threatened by pollution, marking the first time such an organization has been allowed to file a public interest case.
Chinese courts have historically barred groups like the All China Environment Federation from bringing such suits as plaintiffs, said Lu Keqin, the organization’s head, but lawsuits filed by individual citizens are often unsuccessful because they lack resources and money. The federation, however, can call on the support of 44 law firms and some 115 attorneys who donate their time, Lu said.
The legal victories pave the way for the group to file lawsuits in the future in cases involving environmental public interest, he said. Though it is affiliated with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and its staff includes government leaders, the federation is considered a nongovernment organization in China.
Read more background on one of the lawsuits, here on CDT.