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RTR4JXXR.jpg (Photo : Reuters)

On Jan. 6, Tuesday, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) of China released a judicial interpretation regarding environmental litigations expressing that the Chinese government will extend its support to non-governmental organizations (NGO) who want to file lawsuits, the Global Times reported.

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To ensure support for said litigations, the SPC will works hand in hand with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), who also issued their respective circulars.

NGOs that defend the public interest and display care for the environment through projects can be eligible for recognition as an "environmental protection NGO," according to the judicial interpretation. The said clarification will take into effect on Jan. 7, Wednesday.

According to the country's regulations, more than 700 environmental protection NGOs are recognized by China as of Sept. 2014, said Liao Hong, an official with the MCA.

According to the judicial interpretation, if the complainant is victorious in his lawsuit, the court charges will be reduced in public non-profit environmental litigation and the court charges will be shouldered by the losing defendant.

This is not limited in their locales, though. Environmental protection NGOs have the privilege to file cases against the offenders across the entire country, notwithstanding their region's registration, it said.

It also added that given punishment will be imposed on environmental protection NGOs that seek profit from lawsuits.

Investigation shall begin after the courts report to significant environmental protection organs within 10 days of accepting the litigations, it articulated.

The vice head of the policy and regulation division of MEP, Bie Tao, said that environmental protection teams will counsel the courts on handling environmental cases.