By Chen Xiao (陈霄), Legal Weekly (法治周末), January 30, 2013
Legal Weekly notes that the cases included in the the “2012 Top Ten Public Interest Lawsuits” list are less interesting or exciting than those of the previous year. This coming year, with the implementation of the civil procedure law, the law specifies for the first time which types of organizations (government units and social organizations) may raise suits, but the road ahead for public interest lawsuits will be tortuous. Li Xuan, Director of the Central University of Finance and Economics Legal Aid Center, which administers the “Top Ten Public Interest Lawsuits” vote, describes this year’s list as “lacking.” He explains that the difficulty of raising public interests lawsuits plays a role, as many interesting lawsuits fail to locate a court willing to accept the case. Increasingly conservative courts scared off a number of well-meaning organizations and citizens, Li says, but he is hopeful that recent developments will decrease Party interference with judicial proceedings, clearing the space for public interest lawsuits.