Consumer Public Interest Litigations Struggle to get off the Ground

公益时报

中文 English

Editor’s Note

This is CDB’s translation of an article originally published in Chinese by the Charity Times on the 28th of March (see the original here). It discusses the “public interest litigations” that China’s national and provincial Consumers’ Associations are entitled to initiate by law in order to protect the rights and interests of consumers. The Consumers’ Associations are state-backed bodies that are supposed to protect consumers’ interests. The article argues in favour of allowing other social organizations, especially the ones with experience in conducting public interest litigations in the environmental sphere, to initiate litigations in favour of consumers.

 

Food is a primary need for the people, and its safety should always come first. This year, CCTV’s 15th of March evening show revealed that certain food products popular with consumers, for example spicy sticks (la tiao) and free range eggs, are produced in shockingly bad hygienic conditions and have all kinds of food additives inside, causing internet users to cry out that they would never dare eat them again. Setting aside these products that enter our mouths, many other bad practices have been exposed concerning products and industries familiar to us all, for example exaggerated publicity for electronic cigarettes, the illegal recycling of medical waste and after-sales tricks in retail.

As consumers, if our rights are infringed upon, what should we do to respond? In an online survey by a “Charity Times” reporter, around 20% of respondents stated they might seek help from the Consumers’ Associations; and more than 50% claimed that defending their legal rights through the Consumers’ Associations provided more guarantees than defending them on their own.

As social organisations that exist to protect consumers’ rights and interests, Consumers’ Associations do indeed serve an important purpose for solving consumer disputes and helping consumers defend their legal rights. Especially since 2014, when the revised “Consumer Rights Protection Law” gave national and provincial-level Consumer Associations the right to initiate “consumer public interest litigations”, many breakthroughs have been achieved in this field.

On the other hand, from the first implementation of the new consumer law in 2014 until today all of the Consumer Associations only instigated a total of less than twenty public litigation cases. What’s more, out of the litigations already instigated some did not receive support from the courts, some were accepted years ago but there has still been no settlement, and some cases ended with an apology, rectification or a negotiated settlement. Very few cases have involved any kind of punitive reparation. This result is far from enough to respond to the problems that keep appearing in the field of consumer products.

Due to this, during this year’s Two Congresses, some charitable organisations proposed to loosen the rules on who is allowed to act as the complainant in consumer public interest litigations, in order to allow more social organisations to take part in litigations relating to the safety of food and medical products, and protect the social and public interests of consumers. This decision also gained the support of the National Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Committee members, and as a result a draft bill was handed to the National People’s Congress.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 14.19.50

(photo credit: Charity Times)

 

Since 2014 there have been less than twenty consumer public interest litigations

 

As published on the China Consumers’ Association website, by September 2016 31 Consumer Associations had been established at the provincial level, 351 in the prefecture-level cities and 2852 at the county level. This huge system of Consumer Associations serves an important purpose in defending consumers’ rights, especially since the revised “Consumer Rights Protection Law” in 2014 further encouraged Consumers’ Associations to use the law as a method for expanding consumer rights in the form of public interest litigations.

Clause 37 of section 7 of the new Consumer Rights Law mentions that if there is behaviour that damages consumers’ rights and interests under the law, the Consumers’ Associations should support consumers who have suffered damage in starting a lawsuit, or start a lawsuit themselves in accordance with this law. Clause 47 of section 7 provides that if there is behaviour that breaches the rights of multiple consumers, the China Consumers’ Association and the Consumers’ Associations set up in the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities can bring a lawsuit to the People’s Courts.

This provision has led to many breakthroughs for China’s consumer public interest litigations. The series of public interest litigations regarding the Guangdong Fake Salt case was particularly significant.

In April 2017, the Guangzhou city prosecutor’s office issued four proposals to prosecute to the Consumers’ Committee of Guangdong province, in which they suggested the committee should start consumer public interest lawsuits in the People’s Courts for four cases of food product safety violations. In October that year, the Guangdong province Consumers’ Committee filed four public interest litigation cases in the Guangzhou Intermediate Court on the production and sale of counterfeit salt by a person surnamed Peng and others.

In May 2018, the Guangzhou Intermediate Court adjudicated on three of the cases in the first instance, and a total of eight defendants in the three cases were ordered to pay compensation of 167,480 RMB, with the court turning the money over to the state treasury. The defendants were required within ten days of the judgment taking effect to publish a statement of apology approved by the court to Guangdong’s provincial-level media, and they also had to undertake to pay the majority of the costs of the case.

At the end of September 2018, the last of the Guangdong Fake Salt cases was decided in the first instance, with Peng and the other seven defendants sentenced to pay compensation totalling 1,146,463.3 RMB, and publish an apology in the provincial-level media. So far, the Guangdong Fake Salt series of cases has resulted in payments of compensation totalling 1,314,000 RMB, and the fifteen defendants, including both those who offered the manufacturing sites and the employed workers, have had to pay a heavy price.

The reason why this case is frequently mentioned is that it represented the first case of a public interest litigation in China in which punitive reparations were imposed. In previous consumer public interest litigations, the consumer associations’ demands were for the most part restricted within the scope of judicial explanations and clear-cut guidelines, and when the result was finally reached it usually yielded an apology or some form of rectification or compromise. This means that the punitive and deterrent power and the actual effect of the litigations was very limited.

Furthermore, media reports reveal that Consumers’ Associations around the country have only initiated less than twenty public litigation cases up to this point, and the public litigation system’s ability to offer actual protection has not been reflected very well. On the other hand, the public’s own enthusiasm for defending its legal rights through the Consumers’ Associations does not seem to be too high.

The “Charity Times” conducted an online survey on this issue, and it was found that out of the more than 1000 people who participated, less than 20% stated that when they suffered a breach of their consumer rights they would go to a Consumers’ Association to seek help; around 28% stated that they had previously contacted a Consumers’ Association, but the results were not ideal. It is worth considering that more than 40% of the participants suggested that if more social organisations that meet the criteria were given the right to instigate public interest litigations, “this would allow more social organisations to take part, and they would be able to defend consumers’ legal rights to a greater degree”.

When all is said and done, what are the factors restricting the enthusiasm of Consumers’ Associations for instigating public interest litigations? What practical difficulties are they facing?

 

Multiple problems make it difficult for consumer public interest litigations to progress

 

Two years after the new consumer law was implemented, in 2016 the Supreme People’s Court released the “Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Application of the Law in the Trial of Environmental Civil Public Interest Litigation Cases”. This further clarified certain issues, such as the qualifications to act as a plaintiff in consumer public interest litigations, the scope of application, and the relationship between public interest litigations and private litigations. Many people believe that this has created a stable foundation for the implementation of public interest litigations.

However, the actual practice of public interest litigations would not seem to give much cause for optimism. According to media reports from within the sector, from 2014 to 2018, the first four years after the new consumer law was passed, local Consumers’ Associations filed 14 public interest litigation cases. From the public records it transpires that some provincial level Consumers’ Associations’ attitudes towards public interest litigations are not particularly positive.

In May 2015, in Hubei Province’s Yunxi Country, the Salt Administration discovered fake iodized salt in shops and residents’ homes during an inspection. On February 5th 2016 the main suspect in the case, surnamed Zhou, was sentenced to one year in prison with a two-year reprieve. Since Yunxi County is an area of Hubei that suffers from iodine deficiency, the Shiyan City Procuratorate recommended that the Hubei Consumer Committee raise a public interest litigation against Zhou, but the Committee did not provide a written response to the recommendation and did not pursue the litigation. After going through the pre-litigation procedures, the Shiyan city Procuratorate began the litigation itself.

Legal experts believe that the reason behind this situation is that the current law does not have mechanisms to impose conditions on Consumers’ Associations. Zhang Na, a lawyer with many years of experience working on environmental public interest litigations, told the author that the distinguishing feature of public interest litigations is that they protect the public interest, meaning that consumer public interest litigations do not directly affect the interests of Consumers’ Associations: “with regards to the thirty plus provincial Consumers’ Associations, if they don’t file consumer litigations the law has no way of providing any kind of control mechanism. That means that if the provincial Consumers’ Associations act lazily, there is no legal supervision upon their powers of litigation.”

In reality, the biggest reason there are so few consumer public interest lawsuits filed is because there are too few actors that are able to file them, and the requirements for becoming one of those actors are too strict. It is easy to imagine the pressure that just thirty Consumers’ Associations face when dealing with a nation-wide demand for consumer public interest litigations.

As Zhang Na commented, “consumer disputes are spread across the country, and they have an obvious regional basis. If the qualifications for actors could be expanded to include city and county-level Consumers’ Associations, then more social organizations could participate. This would greatly reduce the costs of litigation, speed up the collection of evidence, improve efficiency, and facilitate the rapid resolution of conflicts.”

Just like other kinds of social organizations, when filing public interest litigations, Consumers’ Associations are greatly restricted by a lack of funds. Most of their funding comes from budgetary allocations and support from industry and commerce departments. The costs of litigation include case hearing fees, lawyers’ fees, evidence and investigation fees, travel expenses, and appraisal and evaluation fees. This undoubtedly is a real problem for Consumers’ Associations.

In addition, consumer public interest litigations also involve specialized issues such as determining the right to claim compensation, the acquisition of evidence, the calculation of the compensation amount, and the handling of compensation funds. Many Consumers’ Associations undoubtedly lack this sort of legal and litigation knowledge. What also should not be ignored is that as “public rights” organizations, Consumers’ Associations have to face the government or industrial and commerce departments when they pursue litigations. This “impediment” also limits the number of public interest litigations that can be filed, dampens the enthusiasm of Consumers’ Associations for pushing litigations, and makes it difficult to completely guarantee the fairness and justness of the cases.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 14.16.46

An activity held by the Consumers’ Association of Linfen in occasion of the 2019 Consumer Rights’ Day. (photo credit: Charity Times)

 

It is urgent to relax the qualifications for filing consumer public interest litigations

 

“China’s Consumer Rights Protection Act’ states that only national and provincial level Consumers’ Associations are qualified and have the right to act as the plaintiffs in consumer public interest litigations. This provision is too strict. Since 2014, the China Consumer Association and provincial-level Consumers’ Associations have filed less than 20 public interest litigation cases, demonstrating that the scope for consumer public interest litigations in China has not really opened up. Although the supervision of the government and the relevant departments is gradually growing stricter and more meticulous, the administrative penalties in such cases are still quite mild and the cost of breaking the law is still too low. It remains difficult to deter offenders and to create an environment for the public where consumers can feel safe.”

In view of this situation Wen Xiangcai, a CPPCC National Committee member and Director of the Physics laboratory of the China National Environmental Monitoring Center, submitted the “Proposal on Expanding Social Organizations’ Qualifications to act as Plaintiffs in Consumer Public Interest Litigations” to this year’s Two Sessions: “consumer public interest litigations should open up the qualifications to act as a plaintiff, and give social organizations that meet the criteria and are pursuing environmental public interest litigations the eligibility to participate.”

Zhang Na analysis on this was as follows: “cases of consumer rights’ violations and environmental pollution are the same in that the victims are always the disadvantaged. It is difficult for private litigation to provide relief to individual citizens, but the public interest litigation can on a certain level strike out against bad enterprises, provide a check on the abuses of consumers’ legal rights, and warn both producers and distributors. It has the same aim as the environmental public interest litigation, which work to curb polluters, protect the life and health of the unspecified majority, and protect the environment.”

The China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation deputy secretary general Ma Yong expresses a similar view: “there is a strong correlation between environmental public interest litigations and consumer public interest litigations, especially lawsuits that arise when environmental pollution leads to food safety or other consumer safety issues. Therefore, I feel that if a plaintiff can file environmental public interest litigations then they can also file litigations regarding cases of consumer problems that involve the public interest.”

On March 15, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation released an article on their WeChat public account entitled “CBCGDF’s position receives recognition from Two Sessions’ s representative committee member: it’s time to relax qualifications for consumer public interest litigation plaintiffs | Consumers Rights Day”. The organization maintains the position that giving social organizations that meet the qualifications but are not consumer associations the eligibility to file consumer public interest litigations is imperative.

“The necessity lies in the fact that presently there are many risks to consumer safety caused by environmental problems, particularly risks linked to food safety, cars and home renovation. As these issues affect and harm people’s physical wellbeing and create personal loss, effective judicial protections are urgently needed. Due to the exclusionary provisions determining who can be the plaintiff in consumer public interest litigations, other social organizations can do little to help solve this problem, and therefore this rather unreasonable rule needs to be addressed”, wrote Ma Yong.

This author’s survey found that more than 40% of those surveyed think that social organizations that meet the requirements should be given the eligibility to file consumer public interest litigations, especially if they already meet the criteria to file environmental public interest litigations. Compared to the limiting conditions that the Procuratorate and provincial level consumer associations face, these kinds of social organizations can respond quickly, aren’t limited by financial expenses or the government, and also have staff with a lot of experience in public interest litigation.

17.22% of those surveyed agreed that this relaxation of qualification requirements could first be tested in a controlled area. For example, some non-profits that already have experience in environmental public interest litigations could be authorized to begin work in the consumer rights field. However, from a legal standpoint, other social organizations that want to become eligible to file consumer public interest litigations are still facing a lot of problems. For this reason, Wen Xiangcai offered a few suggestions of his own within the proposal:

 

  • The Supreme People’s Court should add additional regulations to the “Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in the Trial of Environmental Civil Public Interest Litigation Cases”. The scope for plaintiffs filing consumer public interest litigations should be expanded to the food and drug sector, and more social organizations that meet the conditions to file environmental public interest litigations should be allowed to do so.

 

  • As a pilot project, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress should issue relevant authorizations to allow for some non-profit organizations that already have experience filing environmental public interest litigations to file litigations in the consumer rights sector.

 

  • The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress should revise the Consumer Rights Protection Act to expand the right to act as a plaintiff in consumption public interest litigations from consumer associations to social organizations that meet the criteria to file environmental public interest litigations.

消费公益诉讼难以开展?放宽原告主体资格迫在眉睫

 皮磊 公益时报 3/28

民以食为天,食以安为先。今年央视315晚会曝光了一些颇受消费者喜爱的食品,比如辣条和土鸡蛋,触目惊心的卫生状况以及各种添加剂,让网友直呼“再也不敢随便吃了!”。而除了这些入口的东西,还有很多我们熟悉的产品或行业被曝光,比如夸大宣传的电子烟、医疗垃圾非法回收加工、售后服务套路等。

在消费过程中,如果自身权益遭受侵害我们该怎么应对?《公益时报》记者通过调查发现,当遇到消费问题时,约20%的网友表示会通过消费者协会寻求帮助;超过50%的网友认为通过消协维权要比自己维权更有把握。

作为为保护消费者权益而存在的社会组织,在解决消费纠纷、帮助消费者维权等方面,消协确实发挥了非常重要的作用。尤其是2014年修订的《消费者权益保护法》赋予国家和省级消协提起消费公益诉讼主体资格后,中国的消费公益诉讼实现了多个突破。

不过,从2014年新消法开始实施至今,各地消协仅提起了十几起公益诉讼。而在已经提起的诉讼中,有的未受法院支持,有的审理多年仍没有结果,有的以赔礼道歉或整改、和解告终,涉及惩罚性赔偿的案例少之又少。这一结果,远不能应对消费领域频发的各种问题。

因此,今年两会期间,有公益组织建议放宽消费公益诉讼原告主体资格,让更多社会组织参与到食品药品安全等领域消费公益诉讼中来,维护不特定消费者的社会公共利益。该建议也得到了全国政协委员的支持,并形成提案递交两会。

自2014年至今仅十余起

据中国消费者协会官网显示,截至2016年9月,全国已经建立省级消协组织31个,地市级消协组织351个,县级消协组织2852个。庞大的消协系统为维护消费者权益发挥了重要作用,尤其是2014年新修订的《消费者权益保护法》更是鼓励消协组织通过公益诉讼的形式,用法律手段为广大消费者维权。

新消法第三十七条第七款提到,就损害消费者合法权益的行为,消协应支持受损害的消费者提起诉讼或者依照本法提起诉讼。第四十七条规定,对侵害众多消费者合法权益的行为,中国消费者协会以及在省、自治区、直辖市设立的消费者协会,可以向人民法院提起诉讼。

这一规定让我国的消费公益诉讼实现了多个突破。其中,广东假盐案系列公益诉讼颇具代表意义。

2017年4月,广州市检察院向广东省消费者委员会发出四份检察建议书,建议省消委会就四起食品安全犯罪案件向法院提起消费公益诉讼。当年10月,广东省消委会分别就彭某等人生产销售假盐,向广州中院提起四个消费民事公益诉讼。

2018年5月,广州中院对其中三案作出一审判决,判令三案共八名被告共支付赔偿金167480元,由法院收缴国库;被告于判决生效之日起10日内,在广东省级媒体发表经法院认可的赔礼道歉说明,承担案件大部分受理费用。

2018年9月底,假盐案最后一起公益诉讼一审判决,判令彭某等七名被告支付赔偿金共1146463.3元,并在省级媒体公开道歉。至此,广东假盐案系列公益诉讼案共判赔偿金额131.4万元,包括提供生产场地和被雇佣劳动的参与者在内的15名被告为此付出了沉重代价。

该案件之所以经常被提及,是因为其是国内首例惩罚性赔偿公益诉讼。而在以往的消费公益诉讼中,消协的诉求大都限定在司法解释明确规定的范围内,最后结果也往往以赔礼道歉或整改、和解告终,这使得公益诉讼的惩戒力、震慑力和实质效果非常有限。

不过,据媒体报道,截至目前各地消协组织仅提起了十几起公益诉讼,公益诉讼制度的保护作用并未得到很好的体现。而另一方面,公众对于通过消协组织维权的热情似乎也并不高。

《公益时报》此前就此发起了一项调查,结果显示,在1000余名参与调查的网友中,仅有不到20%的人表示在遭遇消费侵权时会找消协寻求帮助;约28%的网友表示曾经联系过消协,但结果并不理想。值得深思的是,有超过40%的网友建议,赋予更多符合条件的社会组织提起消费公益诉讼的主体资格,“让更多社会组织参与,能够在更大程度上帮助消费者维权。”

那么,究竟是哪些因素限制了消协提起公益诉讼的积极性?其在实践过程中又面临哪些现实困难?

多重困难致消费公益诉讼难以展开

临汾市2019国际消费者权益日宣传活动

新消法实施两年后,2016年最高人民法院出台了《关于审理消费民事公益诉讼案件适用法律若干问题的解释》,进一步明确了消费民事公益诉讼原告资格、适用范围、公益诉讼与私益诉讼的关系等问题。在很多人看来,此举为公益诉讼落地实施奠定了坚实的基础。

然而,消费公益诉讼具体实践情况并不乐观。据界面新闻报道,从2014年到2018年,新消法施行后四年时间,各地消协组织仅提起14起公益诉讼。从公开案例来看,一些省级消协组织对公益诉讼的态度似乎并不积极。

2015年5月,湖北郧西县盐务管理局在统一检查行动中,在部分商店及居民家中发现假冒碘盐。2016年2月5日,本案嫌疑人周某被判处有期徒刑一年缓刑二年。由于郧西县是湖北省碘缺乏病分布地区,2016年10月11日,十堰市检察院建议湖北消费者委员会对周某提起民事公益诉讼,但湖北消委会既未书面回复也未提起诉讼。最后,经过诉前程序,十堰市检察院依法提起了诉讼。

针对这种现象,法律界人士认为原因在于目前法律对于消协并无相应制约机制。长期从事环境公益诉讼的张娜律师告诉记者,公益诉讼的一大特点就是维护社会公共利益,这表明消费公益诉讼与消协并无直接利害关系,“对于目前我国这30余家省级消协而言,如果他们不提起消费公益诉讼,法律对其是没有任何制约机制的。也就是说,如果省级消协出现懈怠情况,法律并没有对其起诉权的监督。”

事实上,导致消费公益诉讼案件少的一大主要原因,在于能够提起消费公益诉讼的主体太少,主体资格限定过严。30多家消协要应对全国范围内的消费公益诉讼,其压力可想而知。

“发生消费纠纷的案例分布在全国各个地方,区域性特征很明显。如果能够开放主体资格到市、县级消协,以及让更多社会组织参与进来,就可以在很大程度上降低诉讼成本,也可以快速收集固定证据,提高效率,有利于事件快速解决。”张娜表示。

跟其他类型社会组织一样,消协开展公益诉讼在很大程度上还受运作经费的制约。据了解,消协的经费来源大多的是财政预算拨款和工商部门支持,而诉讼成本包括案件受理费、律师费、调查取证费、差旅费、鉴定评估等费用,这无疑也是消协不得不面对的现实问题。

另外,消费公益诉讼还涉及赔偿请求权认定、证据调查获取、赔偿数额核算、赔偿金处置等专业问题,而在法律知识及诉讼知识层面,很多消协组织无疑是很欠缺的。不能忽视的是,作为有些“公权”性质的社会组织,消协在提起消费公益诉讼时难免要面对政府或工商部门。这些“掣肘”同样限制了消费公益诉讼案件数量和消协提起诉讼的积极性,也难以保证案例的绝对公平公正。

放宽消费公益诉讼主体资格迫在眉睫

由于对消费公益诉讼主体资格限定过于严格,目前消费公益诉讼开展情况并不乐观。图片来自网络

“我国《消费者权益保护法》中仅规定了国家和省级的消费者协会有权作为原告提起消费公益诉讼,主体资格限定过于严格,从2014年至今,中消协和部分省级消费者组织所提起的公益诉讼只有十几起,国内消费公益诉讼局面还远远没有打开。虽然政府和相关部门的监管目前正逐步严格化、细致化,但对该类案件的行政处罚依然数额少、力度小,违法成本太低,难以真正形成对违法者的震慑,为公众营造出一个安全放心的消费环境。”

针对目前消费公益诉讼难以开展的局面,今年两会期间,全国政协委员、中国环境检测总站物理室主任温香彩向两会递交了《关于扩大社会组织开展消费公益诉讼原告主体资格的建议》,“消费公益诉讼诉应适当放开原告主体资格,把符合条件提起环境公益诉讼的社会组织也纳入到其中来”。

对此,张娜分析称,“侵害消费者权益领域与环境污染领域一样,受侵害者往往都是弱势群体,私益的诉讼对于公民个人是很难实现救济的,但是公益诉讼可以在一定程度上打击不良商家企业,遏制其侵害消费者合法权益行为,警醒生产者及销售者。这和环境公益诉讼关于遏制污染者、保护不特定多数人的生命身体健康、保护生态环境立法目的和初衷是相同的。”

中国绿发会副秘书长马勇也表达了相同的观点,“环境公益诉讼和消费公益诉讼存在很大的关联性,尤其是涉及到因环境污染导致的食品药品等消费安全问题引发的诉讼。我觉得二者的根本目标是一致的,即都是为了维护社会公共利益。因此,能够提起环境公益诉讼的原告完全可以对涉及公共利益的消费类案件提起诉讼。”

3月15日当天,中国绿发会通过机构微信公众号发布了一篇题为《绿会主张获两会代表委员认可:是时候放宽消费公益诉讼原告主体资格了|消费者权益日》的文章。在该机构看来,赋予除消协之外的其他符合条件的社会组织提起消费公益诉讼主体资格,是一件非常迫切的事情。

“其必要性在于,目前由于环境问题引发的消费安全问题高发,特别是环境问题引发的食品安全、汽车消费、家装消费事件频发,进而影响人体健康,构成人身损害,亟待司法提供有效保障。而从实际情况看,由于消费公益诉讼原告主体的排他性规定,其他社会组织只能‘望诉兴叹’,因此有必要努力解决这个不太合理的规定。”马勇表示。

记者调查发现,超过40%的网友赞同赋予更多符合条件的社会组织提起消费公益诉讼的主体资格,尤其是符合提起环境公益诉讼条件的社会组织:相对于检察机关的属地“掣肘”和省级消协的一些限制条件,这类社会组织能够快速反应,不受财政经费或政府限制,而且还具有专业的团队和人员,公益诉讼经验丰富。

17.22%的网友则表示,可以先进行小范围试点,比如授权一部分有过环境公益诉讼经验的公益组织在消费领域开展工作。不过,目前就法律层面来说,其他社会组织要获得提起消费公益诉讼的主体资格,还面临很多困难。为此,温香彩在提案中也给出了自己的建议:

、建议最高人民法院对《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》进行补充规定,适度扩大食药领域消费公益诉讼的原告范围,允许符合条件提起环境民事公益诉讼的社会组织参与进来;

、建议全国人民代表大会常务委员会出台相关的授权决定,授权一部分已经有过环境公益诉讼经验的公益组织在消费领域开展试点工作,作为第一波试点对象;

三、建议全国人民代表大会常务委员会对《消费者权益保护法》进行修改,将消费公益诉讼的原告由消费者协会扩大到符合条件提起环境公益诉讼的社会组织。

Translated by Serena Chang and Jessica Gammon

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