China’s procuratorates attach importance to public interest litigation in connection with the protection of cultural property.
On 2 Dec. 2020, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) released ten typical cases relating to the public interest litigation on the protection of cultural relics and cultural heritage, clarifying that the protection of cultural relics and cultural heritage will be regarded as the key tasks to develop procuratorial public interest litigation, which will be deployed and promoted further.
For the competences of procuratorial organs to initiate public interest litigation, please refer to our previous post.
The typical cases released this time involve a wide range of cultural relics, including ancient sites, ancient tombs, grotto temples, traditional buildings, traditional villages and so on. The manners of supervision include both administrative public interest litigation and civil public interest litigation. Specific situations subject to supervision include the destruction of cultural relics by legal persons through illegal construction, illegal reconstruction or occupation of cultural relics, damage to cultural relics due to theft or excavation, and damage to cultural relics caused by property owners' failure to obtain authorization or inability to make repairs. The subjects under the supervision include local governments, cultural relics departments or other administrative organs, entities or individuals who damage cultural relics, etc.
Contributors: Yanru Chen 陈彦茹