When environmental pollution accidents occur, victims file lawsuits to receive compensation for the damage. However, victims of environmental pollution accidents are often unable to obtain proper compensation due to the burden of proving that their injury resulted from the pollution, or a prolonged litigation process, or the inflictor’s inability to compensate for the damage, including bankruptcy. Meanwhile, companies that caused such accidents may go bankrupt because they cannot bear the financial burden of paying the compensation. In such circumstances, the government is pursuing the introduction of an environmental pollution damage compensation system to offer prompt relief for victims of environmental pollution damages and also secure the stable management of businesses with such accidents.
To design the new system, the government opened a “Policy Forum for Compensation and Relief of Environmental Pollution Damages” consisting of various stakeholder comprising the National Assembly, academia, industries, insurances, judicial organizations and civic groups in April 2013, and established a draft of the act. It collected opinions on the draft act by holding briefing sessions and public hearings, and legislation procedures are underway in the National Assembly.
The system intends to offer prompt and fair relief to victims of environmental pollution damage by clarifying the compensation liability of the damage and alleviating the victim’s burden of proof in order to establish an effective damage relief scheme. To that end, the government will clarify the scope of compensation from damages done by responsible facilities, establish polluter pays principles that impose liability without fault, relieve victims’ proof burden by inferring causal relations and claims to information, and mandate that companies have an environmental liability insurance policy to secure the fulfillment of obligations. Meanwhile, exceptional cases of unknown origin, nonexistence, and incapacity of the inflictor or damages exceeding compensation ability limits will be compensated by the government.
As the Environmental Pollution Damage Compensation System is settled it will ensure that victims receive compensation for damages in a timely manner, and companies with accidents are mitigated from the burden of compensation through environment liability insurance.
The government plans to make consistent efforts to secure the smooth operation of the system, including the development of environmental liability insurance products, establishment of a system to manage environmental liability insurance operation, and creating compensation criteria for environmental pollution damages.
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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38
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