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Guiding Case No. 75: China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation v. Ningxia Ruitai Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (Case about public interest litigation against environmental pollution)
指导案例75号:中国生物多样性保护与绿色发展基金会诉宁夏瑞泰科技股份有限公司环境污染公益诉讼案
【法宝引证码】
  • Type of Dispute: Civil-->Tort ★
  • Legal document: Ruling
  • Judgment date: 01-28-2016
  • Procedural status: Retrial

Guiding Case No. 75: China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation v. Ningxia Ruitai Science and Technology Co., Ltd. 指导案例75号:中国生物多样性保护与绿色发展基金会诉宁夏瑞泰科技股份有限公司环境污染公益诉讼案
(Issued on December 28, 2016 as deliberated and adopted by the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court) (最高人民法院审判委员会讨论通过2016年12月28日发布)
Keywords:
civil; public interest litigation against environmental pollution; social organization specially engaging in public activities of environmental protection
 关键词
民事/环境污染公益诉讼/专门从事环境保护公益活动的社会组织
Key Points of  裁判要点
1. Where the articles of association of a social organization does not specify safeguarding the environmental public interests, but the work content of the social organization includes protection of environmental elements and the ecological system, it shall be determined that it conforms to the provisions of Article 4 of the Interpretation of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues concerning the Application of Law in the Trial of Environmental Civil Public Interest Litigations (hereinafter referred to as the “Interpretation”) that “the tenets and main business scope as determined in the articles of association of a social organization are safeguarding the public interests.” 1.社会组织的章程虽未载明维护环境公共利益,但工作内容属于保护环境要素及生态系统的,应认定符合《最高人民法院关于审理环境民事公益诉讼案件适用法律若干问题的解释》(以下简称《解释》)第四条关于“社会组织章程确定的宗旨和主要业务范围是维护社会公共利益”的规定。
2. “Public activities of environmental protection” as prescribed in Article 4 of the Interpretation not only include activities of directly improving the ecological environment, but activities related to environmental protection that are conducive to improving the environmental control system, enhancing the environmental control capacity, and promoting the whole society to form extensive consensus on environmental protection. 2.《解释》四条规定的“环境保护公益活动”,既包括直接改善生态环境的行为,也包括与环境保护相关的有利于完善环境治理体系、提高环境治理能力、促进全社会形成环境保护广泛共识的活动。
3. Where the matter as complained by a social organization has corresponding relationship with its tenets and business scope or has certain relevance with the environmental elements and the ecological system under its protection, it shall be determined that the matter conforms to the provisions of Article 4 of the Interpretation that “… is related to its tenets and business scope.” 3.社会组织起诉的事项与其宗旨和业务范围具有对应关系,或者与其所保护的环境要素及生态系统具有一定联系的,应认定符合《解释》四条关于“与其宗旨和业务范围具有关联性”的规定。
Legal Provisions 相关法条
Article 58 of the Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China 中华人民共和国环境保护法》第58条
聊五分钱的天吗
Basic Facts
法宝
 基本案情
On August 13, 2015, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the “CBCGDF”) instituted an action in the Intermediate People's Court of Zhongwei City of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and alleged that Ningxia Ruitai Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Ruitai Company”) directly discharged waste water exceeding the prescribed standards to the evaporation pond in the process of production in violation of regulations, causing severe pollution of the Tengger Desert. Up to the time of action, the rectification has not been completed yet. The CBCGDF requested the Court to order that Ruitai Company should (1) stop the illegal environmental pollution activities; (2) eliminate hazards causing the environmental pollution; (3) restore the ecological environment or establish a special fund for the restoration of the desert environment and entrust a qualified third party to make the restoration; (4) with respect to claims in items (2) and (3), request the Court to organize plaintiff, technicians, legal experts, NPC members, and CPPCC members to conduct a joint acceptance; (5) compensate for ecological function loss before the environmental restoration; and (6) extend a formal apology on national media. 2015年8月13日,中国环境保护与绿色发展基金会(以下简称绿发会)向宁夏回族自治区中卫市中级人民法院提起诉讼称:宁夏瑞泰科技股份有限公司(以下简称瑞泰公司)在生产过程中违规将超标废水直接排入蒸发池,造成腾格里沙漠严重污染,截至起诉时仍然没有整改完毕。请求判令瑞泰公司:(一)停止非法污染环境行为;(二)对造成环境污染的危险予以消除;(三)恢复生态环境或者成立沙漠环境修复专项基金并委托具有资质的第三方进行修复;(四)针对第二项和第三项诉讼请求,由法院组织原告、技术专家、法律专家、人大代表、政协委员共同验收;(五)赔偿环境修复前生态功能损失;(六)在全国性媒体上公开赔礼道歉等。
The CBCGDF submitted to the Court its foundation legal person registration certificate, which showed that the CBCGDF was a foundation legal person registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China. The annual inspection evidentiary materials from 2010 to 2014 submitted by the CBCGDF showed that it passed the annual inspections in five consecutive years before it instituted this public interest litigation. The CBCGDF also submitted a statement that it had no recorded administrative or criminal penalty due to its business activities in violation of the provisions of laws and regulations within five years. Besides, the articles of association of the CBCGDF provided that its tenets were to “widely mobilize the whole society to concern and give support to the cause of biodiversity protection and green development, protect the national strategic materials, promote the building of ecological civilization and harmony between man and nature, and build a better home for humanity.” In the trial of first instance, trial of second instance, and retrial, the CBCGDF submitted to the Court the relevant evidentiary materials that since its establishment, it has actually engaged in such activities as hosting environmental protection seminars, organizing ecological investigations, launching the environmental protection publicity and education, and instituting civil environmental public interest litigations. 绿发会向法院提交了基金会法人登记证书,显示绿发会是在中华人民共和国民政部登记的基金会法人。绿发会提交的2010至2014年度检查证明材料,显示其在提起本案公益诉讼前五年年检合格。绿发会亦提交了五年内未因从事业务活动违反法律、法规的规定而受到行政、刑事处罚的无违法记录声明。此外,绿发会章程规定,其宗旨为“广泛动员全社会关心和支持生物多样性保护和绿色发展事业,保护国家战略资源,促进生态文明建设和人与自然和谐,构建人类美好家园”。在案件的一审、二审及再审期间,绿发会向法院提交了其自1985年成立至今,一直实际从事包括举办环境保护研讨会、组织生态考察、开展环境保护宣传教育、提起环境民事公益诉讼等活动的相关证据材料。
 裁判结果
On August 19, 2015, the Intermediate People's Court of Zhongwei City of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Regions rendered a civil ruling (No. 6 [2015], Civil Division, IPC, Zhongwei) that the action instituted by the CBCGDF should not be accepted on the ground that the CBCGDF could not be identified as a social organization “specially engaging in the public activities of environmental protection” as prescribed in Article 58 of the Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the “Environmental Protection Law”). The CBCGDF refused to accept the  and appealed to the Higher People's Court of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. On November 6, 2015, the Higher People's Court of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region rendered a civil ruling (No. 6 [2015], Final, Civil Division, HPC, Ningxia) to dismiss the appeal and affirm the original ruling. The CBCGDF filed an application for retrial with the Supreme People's Court. On January 22, 2016, the Supreme People's Court rendered a civil ruling (No. 3377 [2015], Civil Petition, Supreme People's Court) that this case should be brought to trial; and on January 28, 2016, the Supreme People's Court rendered a civil ruling (No. 47 [2016], Retrial, Civil Division, Supreme People's Court) that this case should be placed on file and accepted by the Intermediate People's Court of Zhongwei City of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. 宁夏回族自治区中卫市中级人民法院于2015年8月19日作出(2015)卫民公立字第6号民事裁定,以绿发会不能认定为《中华人民共和国环境保护法》(以下简称《环境保护法》)第五十八条规定的“专门从事环境保护公益活动”的社会组织为由,裁定对绿发会的起诉不予受理。绿发会不服,向宁夏回族自治区高级人民法院提起上诉。该院于2015年11月6日作出(2015)宁民公立终字第6号民事裁定,驳回上诉,维持原裁定。绿发会又向最高人民法院申请再审。最高人民法院于2016年1月22日作出(2015)民申字第3377号民事裁定,裁定提审本案;并于2016年1月28日作出(2016)最高法民再47号民事裁定,裁定本案由宁夏回族自治区中卫市中级人民法院立案受理。
's Reasoning 裁判理由
In the effective , the Supreme People's Court held that this case was about public interest litigation regarding environmental pollution instituted by a social organization. The issue in this case was whether the CBCGDF should be identified as a social organization specially engaging in public activities of environmental protection. 法院生效裁判认为:本案系社会组织提起的环境污染公益诉讼。本案的争议焦点是绿发会应否认定为专门从事环境保护公益活动的社会组织。
Article 55 of the Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China prescribes the system of civil environmental public interest litigation and specified that an authority or relevant organization as prescribed by law may institute an environmental public interest litigation. Article 58 of the Environmental Protection Law provides that “For an act polluting the environment or causing ecological damage in violation of the public interests, a social organization that satisfies the following conditions may institute an action in a people's court: (1) It has been legally registered with the civil affairs department of the people's government at or above the districted city level. (2) It has specially engaged in public activities of environmental protection for five consecutive years or more without any recorded violation of law. Where a social organization complying with the provisions of the preceding paragraph instituted an action in a people's court, the people's court shall accept the action according to the law.” Article 4 of the Interpretation further specifies the standards for checking whether a social organization “specially engaged in the public activities of environmental protection,” namely, “Where a social organization's tenets and main business as specified in its articles of association are to safeguard the public interests and the social organization engages in public activities of environmental protection, it may be determined as ‘specially engages in public activities of environmental protection' as prescribed in Article 58 of the Environmental Protection Law. The public interests involved in the action instituted by a social organization shall be related to its tenets and business scope.” In this case, whether the CBCGDF may institute an action as a social organization “specially engaging in public activities of environmental protection” should be examined mainly from three aspects, namely, whether the tenets and business scope of the CBCGDF included safeguarding the environmental public interests, whether it actually engaged in pubic activities of environmental protection, and whether the environmental public interests it safeguarded were related to its tenets and business scope. 中华人民共和国民事诉讼法》第五十五条规定了环境民事公益诉讼制度,明确法律规定的机关和有关组织可以提起环境公益诉讼。《环境保护法》五十八条规定:“对污染环境、破坏生态,损害社会公共利益的行为,符合下列条件的社会组织可以向人民法院提起诉讼:(一)依法在设区的市级以上人民政府民政部门登记;(二)专门从事环境保护公益活动连续五年以上且无违法记录。符合前款规定的社会组织向人民法院提起诉讼,人民法院应当依法受理。”《解释》四条我不休息我还能学进一步明确了对于社会组织“专门从事环境保护公益活动”的判断标准,即“社会组织章程确定的宗旨和主要业务范围是维护社会公共利益,且从事环境保护公益活动的,可以认定为《环境保护法》五十八条规定的‘专门从事环境保护公益活动'。社会组织提起的诉讼所涉及的社会公共利益,应与其宗旨和业务范围具有关联性”。有关本案绿发会是否可以作为“专门从事环境保护公益活动”的社会组织提起本案诉讼,应重点从其宗旨和业务范围是否包含维护环境公共利益,是否实际从事环境保护公益活动,以及所维护的环境公共利益是否与其宗旨和业务范围具有关联性等三个方面进行审查。
1. With respect to whether the tenets and business scope as prescribed in the articles of association of the CBCGDF included safeguarding the environmental public interests. The common interests enjoyed by the public to live and develop in a healthy, comfortable, and beautiful environment were diversified in forms. Whether the tenets and business scope of a social organization included safeguarding the environmental public interests should be judged on the basis of their content other than simply according to the literal expression. Even though the articles of association of a social organization did not specify safeguarding the environmental public interests, if the work content was within the scope of protecting various natural elements impacting the survival and development of mankind and those subject to artificial modification, including such environmental elements as atmosphere, water, ocean, land, mineral resources, forests, grassland, wet land, wildlife, natural relics, cultural relics, natural reserves, scenic spots, and cities and villages, and the ecological system, it may be determined that the tenets and business scope included safeguarding the environmental public interests. 一、关于绿发会章程规定的宗旨和业务范围是否包含维护环境公共利益的问题。社会公众所享有的在健康、舒适、优美环境中生存和发展的共同利益,表现形式多样。对于社会组织宗旨和业务范围是否包含维护环境公共利益,应根据其内涵而非简单依据文字表述作出判断。社会组织章程即使未写明维护环境公共利益,但若其工作内容属于保护各种影响人类生存和发展的天然的和经过人工改造的自然因素的范畴,包括对大气、水、海洋、土地、矿藏、森林、草原、湿地、野生生物、自然遗迹、人文遗迹、自然保护区、风景名胜区、城市和乡村等环境要素及其生态系统的保护,均可以认定为宗旨和业务范围包含维护环境公共利益。
It was provided in the Convention of the United Nations on Biological Diversity signed by China in 1992 that biodiversity refers to ecological complexes consisting of lands, oceans, and other aquatic ecological systems, including diversity in one species, among different species, and in the whole ecological system. Article 30卡在了奇怪的地方 of the Environmental Protection Law provides that “Exploitation and utilization of natural resources shall be developed in a rational way that protects biological diversity and safeguards ecological security, and the relevant ecological protection and restoration plans shall be developed and implemented according to the law. For the the introduction of alien species and the research, development, and utilization of biotechnologies, measures shall be adopted to prevent any damage to biodiversity.” It could be seen that the protection of biological diversity was an important content of environmental protection and also a major part of safeguarding the environmental public interests. 我国1992年签署的联合国《生物多样性公约》指出,生物多样性是指陆地、海洋和其他水生生态系统及其所构成的生态综合体,包括物种内部、物种之间和生态系统的多样性。《环境保护法》三十条规定,“开发利用自然资源,应当合理开发,保护生物多样性,保障生态安全,依法制定有关生态保护和恢复治理方案并予以实施。引进外来物种以及研究、开发和利用生物技术,应当采取措施,防止对生物多样性的破坏。”可见,生物多样性保护是环境保护的重要内容,亦属维护环境公共利益的重要组成部分。
As specified in the articles of association of the CBCGDF, its tenets were to “widely mobilize the whole society to concern and give support to the cause of biodiversity protection and green development, protect the national strategic materials, promote the building of ecological civilization and harmony between man and nature, and build a better home for humanity,” which met the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Environmental Protection Law for protecting the biological diversity. In the meantime, such content as “promote the building of ecological civilization,” “harmony between man and nature,” and “build a better home for humanity” conformed to the green development concept and was closely related to environmental protection, and it was within the scope of safeguarding the environmental public interests. Therefore, it should be determined that the tenets and business scope of the CBCGDF included content of safeguarding the environmental public interests. 绿发会章程中明确规定,其宗旨为“广泛动员全社会关心和支持生物多样性保护和绿色发展事业,保护国家战略资源,促进生态文明建设和人与自然和谐,构建人类美好家园”,符合联合国《生物多样性公约》和《环境保护法》保护生物多样性的要求。同时,“促进生态文明建设”“人与自然和谐”“构建人类美好家园”等内容契合绿色发展理念,亦与环境保护密切相关,属于维护环境公共利益的范畴。故应认定绿发会的宗旨和业务范围包含维护环境公共利益内容。
2. With respect to whether the CBCGDF actually engaged in public activities of environmental protection, public activities of environmental protection not only include such activities of directly improving the ecological environment as forest planting, protection of endangered species, energy conservation and emission reduction, and environmental restoration, but environmental protection-related publicity and education, research and training, academic exchange, legal aid, public interest litigation, and other activities that are conducive to improving the environmental control system, enhancing the environmental control capacity, and promoting the formation of extensive consensus on environmental protection in the whole society. Although such relevant evidentiary materials submitted by the CBCGDF in the trial of first instance, trial of second instance, and retrial as historical evolution, photographs of public activities, and notice on case-filing and acceptance of an environmental public interest litigation were not cross-examined, at the stage of case-filing and review, they were sufficient to show that since its establishment in 1985, the CBCGDF has been actually engaged in environmental protection activities, including hosting environmental protection seminars, organizing ecological investigations, launching environmental protection publicity and education, and instituting civil environmental public interest litigations, for a long time and it conformed to the provisions of the Environmental Protection Law and the Interpretation. In the meantime, the aforesaid evidence also proved that the duration in which the CBCGDF engaged in public activities of environmental protection has exceeded five years and it conformed to the provisions of Article 58 of the Environmental Protection Law that a social organization should engage in public activities of environmental protection for five consecutive years or more. 二、关于绿发会是否实际从事环境保护公益活动的问题。环境保护公益活动,不仅包括植树造林、濒危物种保护、节能减排、环境修复等直接改善生态环境的行为,还包括与环境保护有关的宣传教育、研究培训、学术交流、法律援助、公益诉讼等有利于完善环境治理体系,提高环境治理能力,促进全社会形成环境保护广泛共识的活动。绿发会在本案一审、二审及再审期间提交的历史沿革、公益活动照片、环境公益诉讼立案受理通知书等相关证据材料,虽未经质证,但在立案审查阶段,足以显示绿发会自1985年成立以来长期实际从事包括举办环境保护研讨会、组织生态考察、开展环境保护宣传教育、提起环境民事公益诉讼等环境保护活动,符合《环境保护法》《解释》的规定。同时,上述证据亦证明绿发会从事环境保护公益活动的时间已满五年,符合《环境保护法》五十八条关于社会组织从事环境保护公益活动应五年以上的规定。
3. With respect to whether the public interests involved in this case were related to the tenets and business scope of the CBCGDF, in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of the Interpretation, the public environmental interests involved in the public interest litigation instituted by a social organization should have a certain relevance with the tenets and business scope of the social organization. These provisions aimed at promoting corresponding relationship or relevance between the matter of environmental public interest protection as complained by a social organization and its tenets and business scope, so as to ensure that the social organization has the corresponding capacity to action. Therefore, even though the matter instituted by the social organization did not have corresponding relationship with the tenets and business scope of the social organization, if such matter had certain relevance with the environmental elements or the ecological system under the protection of the social organization, the subject qualification of the social organization should be confirmed according to the standard of relevance. This environmental public interest litigation was instituted due to pollution of the Tengger Desert. The complex and fragile desert ecological system formed in the interaction between desert biocenosis and the environment needed much more cherishment and good care of the mankind in the utilization. In the action, the CBCGDF alleged that Ruitai Company discharged waste water exceeding the prescribed standards to the evaporation pond, which severely damaged the already fragile ecological system of the Tengger Desert. Safeguarding the environmental public interests involved was included in the tenets and business scope of the CBCGDF. 三、关于本案所涉及的社会公共利益与绿发会宗旨和业务范围是否具有关联性的问题。依据《解释》四条的规定,社会组织提起的公益诉讼涉及的环境公共利益,应与社会组织的宗旨和业务范围具有一定关联。此项规定旨在促使社会组织所起诉的环境公共利益保护事项与其宗旨和业务范围具有对应或者关联关系,以保证社会组织具有相应的诉讼能力。因此,即使社会组织起诉事项与其宗旨和业务范围不具有对应关系,但若与其所保护的环境要素或者生态系统具有一定的联系,亦应基于关联性标准确认其主体资格。本案环境公益诉讼系针对腾格里沙漠污染提起。沙漠生物群落及其环境相互作用所形成的复杂而脆弱的沙漠生态系统,更加需要人类的珍惜利用和悉心呵护。绿发会起诉认为瑞泰公司将超标废水排入蒸发池,严重破坏了腾格里沙漠本已脆弱的生态系统,所涉及的环境公共利益之维护属于绿发会宗旨和业务范围。
In addition, the foundation legal person registration certificate submitted by the CBCGDF showed that the CBCGDF was a foundation legal person registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China. The annual inspection evidentiary materials from 2010 to 2014 submitted by the CBCGDF showed that it passed the annual inspections in five consecutive years before instituting this public interest litigation as prescribed in Article 5 of the Interpretation. Besides, the CBCGDF submitted a statement that it had no recorded administrative or criminal penalty for engaging in business activities in violation of laws and regulations in five consecutive years. Therefore, the CBCGDF also satisfied other requirements for social organizations instituting environmental public interest litigation as prescribed in Article 58 of the Environmental Protection Law and Articles 2, 3, and 5 of the Interpretation and it had the subject qualification for instituting a civil environmental public interest litigation. 此外,绿发会提交的基金会法人登记证书显示,绿发会是在中华人民共和国民政部登记的基金会法人。绿发会提交的2010至2014年度检查证明材料,显示其在提起本案公益诉讼前五年年检合格。绿发会还按照《解释》五条的规定提交了其五年内未因从事业务活动违反法律、法规的规定而受到行政、刑事处罚的无违法记录声明。据此,绿发会亦符合《环境保护法》五十八条《解释》二条、第三条、第五条对提起环境公益诉讼社会组织的其他要求,具备提起环境民事公益诉讼的主体资格。
(Judges of the effective : Liu Xiaofei, Wu Kaimin, and Ye Yang) (生效裁判审判人员:刘小飞、吴凯敏、叶阳)
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