First mediation case successfully settled by the collaboration platform on judicial protection of the marine environment of the "Beibu Gulf - Qiongzhou Strait"
On the afternoon of November 20, 2020, Haikou Maritime Court successfully mediated a civil public interest litigation case of dispute over liability for damage to marine ecology. The case was handled through the People’s Court Mediation Platform, with Guangzhou Maritime Court assisting from Yangjiang where the defendant resided. The court ordered the defendant to fulfill obligations immediately.
The case arouse as the defendant was caught by the coastguard during his illegal trawl fishing within the forbidden fishing zone near Ganchong Port of Danzhou. The Second Branch of People’s Procuratorate of Hainan Province initiated a public interest lawsuit before Haikou Maritime Court, demanding the defendant to compensate RMB38,130 for damage to marine ecology and costs on restoration of the environment, and RMB5,000 for assessment of marine ecological damage and preparation of the restoration plan. It also required the defendant to make apology on new media with provincial coverage.
Given that the defendant had confessed guilty of his illegal act and both parties wished for settlement through mediation, Haikou Maritime Court decided to apply the “Internet Plus” scheme to conduct the online mediation. Vice president Chen Xiangzhi hosted the video meeting. The court also solicited help from Guangzhou Maritime Court through the new collaboration platform on judicial protection of the marine environment of the “Beibu Gulf - Qiongzhou Strait”. The request was answered instantly.
The online mediation started at 3pm, November 20, as all the parties were connected through the mediation platform. Guangzhou Maritime Court Zhanjiang Tribunal assisted the defendant to attend the mediation. As the due procedures were completed smoothly and efficiently, the defendant signed the written mediation agreement and transferred the payment of RMB43,130 for the damage to marine ecology and restoration costs, as well as the costs on assessment of marine ecological damage and preparation of restoration plan. The defendant also made an open apology on new media on the next day to fulfill all the obligations requited under the mediation agreement.
By relying on the judicial protection collaboration platform and concerned efforts from online and offline sides, it took about only two weeks to solve the case, saving not only the time of the parties to participate in litigation but also judicial resources. The success of the case was not only a result of the efforts of Haikou Maritime Court in building a one-stop diversified dispute resolution system and litigation services to upgrade maritime judicial services, but also a successful practice of the collaboration platform on judicial protection of the marine environment of the “Beibu Gulf - Qiongzhou Strait”. Thanks to the efficient scheme that connected the parties through the internet, restoration of the damaged marine ecology could start in a short time. This was beneficial to the innovative construction of the national ecology civilization pilot zone and the practice in the judicial protection of the marine environment and resources.