Data source
Date of text
02 Apr 2009
Seat of court
Original language

Chinese, Simplified

Type of text
National - higher court
Reference number
No. 5 (2006), Second Instance, Civil Division [ (2006) 民二提字第5号]
Court name
Supreme People’s Court
Chen Jia
Dong Hua
Zuo Hong
Access to justice, agriculture, chemical, inland water, Waste management

The plaintiff, a frog farmer sued in 1995 five neighbouring chemical factories for the pollution of the river next to his farm which led to the death of its tadpole stock. The plaintiff contacted the environmental authorities that found out that the five plants were dumping untreated effluents in the river.

In first instance, the Pinghu Intermediate Court requested in 1996 an environmental assessment of the death of the tadpole. The results of this assessment were that the death of the tadpoles was linked with the pollution caused by the factories. The findings were not accepted by the court who considered that the causality link was insufficient and dismissed the claim the following year.

This decision was followed by the Shaoxing Intermediate Court in 1998; the Zhejiang Higher People’s Court in 2001 but was overturned by the Supreme People’s court in 2009 that recognized the causality link between the pollution of the river and the loss of the tadpole livestock and condemned the five companies to compensate the plaintiff.

(Contribution: Case provided by Professor Tianbao QIN, Tang HE, and Han GAO, Research Institute of Environmental Law, Wuhan University, China)