Interpretation concerning Some Questions in Hearing Reputation Rights Cases

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7 August 1993

Various localities’ People’s Courts have put forward some questions on how to apply the law in hearing reputation rights cases, which are hereby answered as follows:

I, Q: How shall People’s Courts investigate the complaints of parties concerning reputation rights disputes?

A: When People’s Courts receive complaints concerning reputation rights disputes, they shall conduct investigations according to the provisions of Article 108 of the “Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China” (hereafter simply named civil procedure law), those meeting conditions shall be accepted. Those not meeting conditions for lodging complaints, shall be ruled not to be accepted; those persisting in lodging a complaint where infringing facts are absent, shall be ruled to be rejected.

II, Q: Where parties have been insulted or slandered in a public place, and this has been dealt with by public security organs according to the “Public Order Management Punishment Regulations of the People’s Republic of China” (hereafter simply named Public Order Management Punishment Regulations), and they still raise a civil lawsuit with the People’s Courts, is the People’s Court to accept this or not?

A: Where parties have been insulted or slandered in public places, and they raise civil lawsuits on the basis of infringement of the right to reputations, regardless of whether or not public security organs have dealt with this according to the Public Order Management Punishment Regulations, the People’s Courts shall investigate this according to the law, those meeting acceptance conditions shall be accepted.

III, Q: Where the parties, after raising a right to reputation lawsuit, request the investigation of the defendant for criminal liability for the same facts and reasons, how should this be handled?

A: Where parties request investigation of criminal liability of the defendant after raising a right to reputation lawsuit, for the same facts and reasons, the civil lawsuit shall be suspended, to wait for the completion of the criminal investigation, and is to be dealt with respectively according to different situations: where criminal circumstances are relatively light, and no criminal punishment is imposed on the defendant, or the criminal case has been withdrawn by the plaintiff, or has been rejected, the civil lawsuit shall be resumed; where the demands in the civil lawsuit have already been resolved in the civil suit attached to the criminal case, the hearing of the civil case shall be terminated.

IV, Q: How is jurisdiction in a reputation rights case to be determined?

A: For reputation rights cases, the provisions of Article 29 of the Civil Procedure Law apply, the People’s Court of the locality of the infringing act or of the residence of the defendant has jurisdiction. The locality of the infringing act includes the place where the infringing act was carried out and the place where the results of the infringing acts happened.

V, Q: if the reputation of a deceased person is harmed, which people may raise a civil lawsuit as plaintiffs?

A: Where the reputation of a deceased person is harmed, their close relatives are empowered to raise a lawsuit with the People’s Courts. Close relatives include: spouses, parents, children, brothers and sisters, paternal and maternal grandparents, and grand children in all lines.

VI, Q: In reputation rights disputes triggered by news reports or other works, how is the defendant to be determined?

A: In reputation rights disputes that happen because of news reports or other works, the defendant is to be determined on the basis of the complaint of the plaintiff. If he only sues the writer, the writer is to be listed as defendant; if he only sues the news or publishing work unit, the news or publishing work unit is listed as defendant; where he sues the writer and the news or publishing work unit, the writer and news or publishing work unit are both listed as defendants; but where the writer has a subordinate relationship to the news or publishing work unit, and the work has been created in the execution of the writer’s profession, only the work unit is to be listed as defendant.

VII: Q: How is the liability for infringement of the right to reputation to be determined?

A: Whether or not liability for infringement of the right to reputation is constituted, is to be established on the basis of the facts of the injured person’s reputation having been truly damaged, the unlawfulness of the act of the actor, the causal relationship between the unlawful act and the consequence of injury, and the objective error of the actor.

Those insulting or slandering other persons in written or oral ways, harming the reputation of other persons, shall be established to have infringed the right to reputation of other persons.

Those who have, without the agreement of other persons, engaged in unauthorized dissemination of private materials of other persons, or propagated private information of other persons in written or oral form, leading to harm to the reputation of other persons, shall be dealt with as having infringed the right to reputation of other persons.

Where grave inaccuracy in news reports leads to harm to the reputation of other persons, this shall be dealt with as infringement of the right to reputation of other persons.

VIII: Q: How shall it be established whether or not reputation rights disputes triggered by writing and publishing critical articles constitutes infringement?

People’s Courts shall handle reputation rights disputes triggered by writing and publishing of critical articles according to the following different circumstances:

Where the problem reflected in the article is basically true, and there is no content slandering the human dignity of the other person, it shall not be established as an infringement of the other person’s right to reputation.

Where, although the problem reflected in the article is basically true, there is content slandering the human dignity of the other person, causing harm to the right of reputation of the other person, it shall be established as an infringement of the other person’s right to reputation.

Where the basic content of the article is inaccurate, causing harm to the right of reputation of the other person, it shall be established as an infringement of the other person’s right to reputation.

IX, Q: How is it to be established whether or not infringement is constituted in reputation rights disputes triggered by literary works?

A: Writing and publishing literary works, that do not make specific persons from life into targets for description, but where only the circumstances in the work and the circumstances of some person are similar, is not to be established as an infringement of other persons’ right to reputation.

Where literary works describe real people and real facts, and insult or slander a specific person, or harm his reputation by divulging private information; or where, although the real name and address have not been clearly written, but the facts take a specific person or specific facts related to a specific person as target for description, and there is content that is insulting, slandering or reveals private information, causing harm to the reputation of this person, it shall be established as an infringement of the other person’s right to reputation.

Editing and publishing work units, after it has been established that another person’s right to reputation has been injured or they have been notified that a work clearly infringes another person’s right to reputation, shall publish a statement to cancel the influence or adopt other remedy measures; where they refuse to publish a statement, do not adopt other remedy measures or continue to print or publish the infringing work, this is to be established as infringement.

X, Q: How is the form in which liability for infringement of the right to reputation is borne to be grasped?

A: The People’s Courts may, according to the provisions of Article 120 and Article 134 of the “General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China”, order the infringer to cease the infringement, restore the reputation, cancel the influence, make a formal apology and compensate damage.

Restoring the reputation, cancellation of influence and a formal apology may be carried out in written form or oral form, the content must be examined in advance by the People’s Court.

The scope of restoring the reputation or cancelling the influence, generally shall correspond to the scale of the harmful influence created by the infringement.

Where citizens or legal persons require compensation for infringement of their right to reputation, the infringer shall compensate the economic damage created by the infringing act; where citizens also put forward a request for moral compensation, the People’s Courts may deliberate and decide this on the basis of the extent of the error of the infringer, the concrete circumstances of the infringing act, the consequences moral harm suffered by the victim, and other circumstances.

XI, Q: Where infringers do not carry out an effective judgment, and do not restore the reputation, cancel the influence or make a formal apology, how is this to be handled?

A: Where the infringer refuses to carry out an effective judgment, does not restore the reputation of the other side or cancels the influence, the People’s Courts may adopt methods such as public announcements, announcements in newspapers, etc., to publicize the main content of the judgement and the relevant influences to the masses, the fees are to be borne by the infringer, who may be punished according to the provisions of Article 102 Clause 6 of the Civil Procedure Law.

最高人民法院关于审理名誉权案件若干问题的解答

1993/08/07

各地人民法院在审理名誉权案件中,提出一些如何适用法律的问题,现解
答如下:
一、问:人民法院对当事人关于名誉权纠纷的起诉应如何进行审查?
答:人民法院收到有关名誉权纠纷的起诉时,应按照《中华人民共和国民
事诉讼法》(以下简称民事诉讼法)第一百零八条的规定进行审查,符合条件的,
应予受理。对不符合起诉条件的,应裁定不予受理;对缺乏侵权事实坚持起诉
的,应裁定驳回起诉。
二、问:当事人在公共场所受到侮辱、诽谤,经公安机关依照《中华人民
共和国治安管理处罚条例》(以下简称治安管理处罚条例)处理后,又向人民法
院提起民事诉讼的,人民法院是否受理?
答:当事人在公共场所受到侮辱、诽谤,以名誉权受侵害为由提起民事诉
讼的,无论是否经公安机关依照治安管理处罚条例处理,人民法院均应依法审
查,符合受理条件的,应予受理。
三、问:当事人提起名誉权诉讼后,以同一事实和理由又要求追究被告人
的刑事责任的,应如何处理?
答:当事人提起名誉权诉讼后,以同一事实和理由又要求追究被告刑事责
任的,应中止民事诉讼,待刑事案件审结后,根据不同情况分别处理:对于犯
罪情节轻微,没有给予被告人刑事处罚的,或者刑事自诉已由原告撤回或者被
驳回的,应恢复民事诉讼;对于民事诉讼请求已在刑事附带民事诉讼中解决的,
应终结民事案件的审理。
四、问:名誉权案件如何确定管辖?
答:名誉权案件,适用民事诉讼法第二十九条的规定,由侵权行为地或者
被告住所地人民法院管辖。侵权行为地包括侵权行为实施地和侵权结果发生地。
五、问:死者名誉受到损害,哪些人可以作为原告提起民事诉讼?
答:死者名誉受到损害的,其近亲属有权向人民法院起诉。近亲属包括:
配偶、父母、子女、兄弟姐妹、祖父母、外祖父母、孙子女、外孙子女。
六、问:因新闻报道或者其他作品引起的名誉权纠纷,如何确定被告?
答:因新闻报道或其他作品发生的名誉权纠纷,应根据原告的起诉确定被
告。只诉作者的,列作者为被告;只诉新闻出版单位的,列新闻出版单位为被
告;对作者和新闻出版单位都提起诉讼的,将作者和新闻出版单位均列为被告,
但作者与新闻出版单位为隶属关系,作品系作者履行职务所形成的,只列单位
为被告。
七、问:侵害名誉权责任应如何认定?
答:是否构成侵害名誉权的责任,应当根据受害人确有名誉被损害的事实、
行为人行为违法、违法行为与损害后果之间有因果关系、行为人主观上有过错
来认定。
以书面或者口头形式侮辱或者诽谤他人,损害他人名誉的,应认定为侵害
他人名誉权。
对未经他人同意,擅自公布他人的隐私材料或者以书面、口头形式宣扬他
人隐私,致他人名誉受到损害的,按照侵害他人名誉权处理。
因新闻报道严重失实,致他人名誉受到损害的,应按照侵害他人名誉权处
理。
八、问:因撰写、发表批评文章引起的名誉权纠纷,应如何认定是否构成
侵权?
答:因撰写、发表批评文章引起的名誉权纠纷,人民法院应根据不同情况
处理:
文章反映的问题基本真实,没有侮辱他人人格的内容的,不应认定为侵害
他人名誉权。
文章反映的问题虽基本属实,但有侮辱他人人格的内容,使他人名誉受到
侵害的,应认定为侵害他人名誉权。
文章的基本内容失实,使他人名誉受到损害的,应认定为侵害他人名誉权。
九、问:因文学作品引起的名誉权纠纷,应如何认定是否构成侵权?
答:撰写、发表文学作品,不是以生活中特定的人为描写对象,仅是作品
的情节与生活中某人的情况相似,不应认定为侵害他人名誉权。
描写真人真事的文学作品,对特定人进行侮辱、诽谤或者披露隐私损害其
名誉的;或者虽未写明真实姓名和住址,但事实是以特定人或者特定人的特定
事实为描写对象,文中有侮辱、诽谤或者披露隐私的内容,致其名誉受到损害
的,应认定为侵害他人名誉权。
编辑出版单位在作品已被认定为侵害他人名誉权或者被告知明显属于侵害
他人名誉权后,应刊登声明消除影响或者采取其他补救措施;拒不刊登声明,
不采取其他补救措施,或者继续刊登、出版侵权作品的,应认定为侵权。
十、问:侵害名誉权的责任承担形式如何掌握?
答:人民法院依照《中华人民共和国民法通则》第一百二十条和第一百三
十四条的规定,可以责令侵权人停止侵害、恢复名誉、消除影响、赔礼道歉、
赔偿损失。
恢复名誉、消除影响、赔礼道歉可以书面或者口头的方式进行,内容须事
先经人民法院审查。
恢复名誉、消除影响的范围,一般应与侵权所造成不良影响的范围相当。
公民、法人因名誉权受到侵害要求赔偿的,侵权人应赔偿侵权行为造成的
经济损失;公民并提出精神损害赔偿要求的,人民法院可根据侵权人的过错程
度、侵权行为的具体情节、给受害人造成精神损害的后果等情况酌定。
十一、问:侵权人不执行生效判决,不为对方恢复名誉、消除影响、赔礼
道歉的,应如何处理?
答:侵权人拒不执行生效判决,不为对方恢复名誉、消除影响的,人民法
院可以采取公告、登报等方式,将判决的主要内容和有关情况公布于众,费用
由被执行人负担,并可依照民事诉讼法第一百零二条第六项的规定处理。

One thought on “Interpretation concerning Some Questions in Hearing Reputation Rights Cases

    Latest Updates | China Copyright and Media said:
    December 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    […] Interpretation concerning Some Questions in Hearing Reputation Rights Cases (1993) Notice concerning Further Strengthening Foreign Cooperative Film Production Management Work (1988) CCP Central Committee Decisions concerning Establishing a Propaganda Network for the Popular Masses in the Entire Party (1950) […]

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