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China regulates charge of judicial expertise to facilitate environment lawsuits

Updated: Jun 5,2019 7:16 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The fees for judicial expertise in environmental public interest litigation can be paid after the judgement is pronounced, the Ministry of Justice said on June 4.

The policy was included in a recent ministry directive to improve management on judicial expertise of environmental damage, said a ministry statement.

It aims to address the problem of hefty charges in environmental damage assessment that has long hampered the efficiency of handling environmental lawsuits, the statement said.

Local authorities are to encourage qualified judicial expertise agencies to conduct environmental damage assessments without charging fees in advance for public interest litigation cases initiated by prosecutors, so as to provide evidence in a timely manner, according to the directive.

Each provincial-level region should at least nominate one such agency for the reference of procuratorates, the statement said.

The overdue fee will be paid by the party that loses the lawsuit.

Procuratorates across China filed 59,312 public interest litigation cases involving natural resource or ecological protection last year, according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in February.