The Development of Public Interest Litigation in China

Public Interest Litigation in China, in (Yap and Lau (editors)) Public Interest Litigation in Asia (Routledge, 2010)

29 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2009 Last revised: 24 Oct 2012

Fu Hualing

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Richard Cullen

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 23, 2009

Abstract

This paper studies the reception and development of public interest litigation in China. In this paper, public interest litigation (PIL) is defined broadly to include a judicial process, including court-based mediation and adjudication, in which grievances of a general nature, normally in relation to social and economic rights, are litigated in pursuit of legal remedies against government departments, public authorities, and monopoly enterprises. Since its reception in China in the middle of the 1990s, PIL has become more institutionalized. This paper identifies five changes in PIL in China: 1) from spontaneous action to institutionalization; 2) from passivity to aggressive defence; 3) from litigation to networking; 4) from using law as shield to using law as sword; and 5) from case handling to policy changes. Lawyers have become more demanding, aggressive and challenging and the current pushback by the government in restricting aggressive public interest lawyering is, in part, a response to the growth of PIL in China in the past 20 years.

Keywords: public interest litigation, lawyering, china, weiquan, access to justice, legal aid, court, lawyers, NGO, media, rights protection, consumer rights, discrimination, civil society

JEL Classification: J5, J70, J71, K00, K10, K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Hualing, Fu and Cullen, Richard, The Development of Public Interest Litigation in China (November 23, 2009). Public Interest Litigation in China, in (Yap and Lau (editors)) Public Interest Litigation in Asia (Routledge, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1512085 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1512085

Fu Hualing (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
China

HOME PAGE: http://hub.hku.hk/rp/rp01245

Richard Cullen

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
China

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