Interpretation concerning Some Questions in Hearing Reputation Right Cases

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(Passed on 14 July 1998 by the 1002nd meeting of the Supreme People’s Court Trial Committee – ZS No. [1998]26)

Since the “Interpretation concerning Some Questions in hearing Reputation Right Cases” was issued by our Court in 1998, various localities’ Peoples Courts have again put forward a number of questions on the application of law in hearing reputation right cases, these are hereby interpreted as follows:

I, Q: How is the locality of the result of the infringement to be determined in reputation right cases?

A: When People’s Courts accept this sort of cases, the locality of domicile of the citizen, legal person or other organization whose rights are infringed, may be considered as the locality where the results of the infringement occurred.

II, Q: For reputation right disputes related to letters or articles printed in publications or reference materials that are only for internal reference in leading departments organs and organizations, etc., as well as reputation right disputes triggered by content printed in common internal publications or internal materials published by organs, social organizations, academic organs, enterprise and undertaking work units for distribution within the work unit, the system or another limited scope, should People’s Courts accept these?

A: Concerning letters or articles printed in periodicals or materials printed by organs or organizations for internal reference of leading departments, where the parties raise a lawsuit with the People’s Court because of their content infringing the right to reputation, the People’s Court shall not accept these.

Where internal periodicals or internal materials published by organs, social organizations, academic organs, enterprise and undertaking work units for distribution within the work unit, the system or another limited scope, contains content that triggers a reputation right dispute, the People’s Court shall accept this.

III, Q: Where content reprinted by news media and publishing organs triggers a reputation right dispute, should People’s Courts accept this?

A: Where news media and publishing organs reprint work, and the party concerned lodges a complaint for infringement of his reputation rights against the reprinter, the People’s Court shall accept this.

IV, Q: Where an evaluation of a person whom one manages according to official powers within State organs, social organizations, enterprise or undertaking work units or other departments, triggers a reputation right dispute, should the People’s Court accept this?

A: Where evaluation or a punishment decision of a person whom one manages within State organs, social organizations, enterprise or undertaking work units or other departments, causes a party concerned to lodge a complaint for infringement of the right to reputation with the People’s Court, the People’s Court shall not accept this.

V, Q: Where reputation right disputes are triggered by reporting an offence or to an accusation, should the People’s Court accept this?

A: Where citizens report or accuse another person’s acts violating the law or discipline to the relevant department according to the law, and the other person lodges a complaint with the People’s Court for infringement of the right to reputation under the name of the report or the accusation, the People’s Court shall not accept this. If the name of reporting or accusation is used to insult or slander other persons, causing harm to the reputation of the other person, and the party concerned lodges a complaint for harm to his reputation under this name with the People’s Court, the People’s Court shall accept this.

VI, Q: Where reputation right disputes are triggered by news work units reporting open documents and official acts of State organs, should this be established as constituting infringement?

A: Where news work units report on open documents that have been produced on the basis of the official powers of a State organ, or official acts that have been openly implemented, and their reporting is objective and correct, it shall not be established as an infringement of another person’s right to reputation; where the reporting is inaccurate, or the above-mentioned documents or official acts have already been openly corrected and the news work unit refuses to amend reports, causing harm to the reputation of another person, it shall be established as being an infringement of another person’s right to reputation.

VII, Q: In reputation right disputes triggered by the provision of news material, how is it to be established whether or not it constitutes infringement?

A: To establish whether or not infringement is constituted in reputation rights disputes triggered by the provision of news material, the following two sorts of situations shall be differentiated:

(1) Actively providing news materials, causing harm to the reputation of another person, shall be established to infringe the right to reputation of another person.

(2) Where news material is provided through passive newsgathering, and this has been made without the agreement of the provider, or published without authorization by the news work unit, causing in another person’s reputation being harmed, the provider generally shall not be established as having infringed the right to reputation; where, although the news material has been provided passively, but the agreement or tacit consent of the provider has been obtained at the time of publication, causing in another person’s reputation being harmed, it shall be established as infringing the right to reputation.

VIII, Q: Where reputation right disputes are triggered by a medical or hygiene work unit publicizing that a patient suffers from gonorrhoea, syphilis, leprosy, AIDS and other illnesses, how is it to be established whether or not it constitutes infringement?

A: Where personnel of medical or hygiene work units make public that a patient has gonorrhoea, leprosy, syphilis, AIDS or other illnesses without authorization, causing in the reputation of the patient being harmed, it shall be established as infringing the patient’s right to reputation.

Where medical or hygiene work units notify patients or their family members about illnesses, it shall not be established to be an infringement of a right to reputation.

IX, Where reputation rights disputes are triggered by criticism or comment on product quality or service quality, how is it to be established whether or not it constitutes infringement?

A: Where consumers conduct criticism or comments of product quality or service quality of producers, traders or sellers, it shall not be established as infringing the right to reputation. But where they seize the opportunity to slander or insult, harming reputations, it shall be established as infringing the right to reputation. Where news work units conduct criticism or comments of product quality or service quality of producers, traders or sellers,  the content is basically accurate, and there is no insulting content, it shall not be established as infringing the right to reputation; where the main content is inaccurate, arming reputations, it shall be established as an infringement of the right to reputation.

X: Q: How is the scope and amount of compensation for loss of production, trade or sales caused by harm to reputation to be determined?

A: The scope and amount of compensation for loss of production, trade or sales caused by harm to reputation, may be appropriately determined according to the extent of customers returning goods, cancellation of contracts and other harm caused by the infringement.

XI, Q: Where reputation right cases are interwoven with other civil disputes, how should the People’s Court deal with this?

A: Where reputation right cases are interwoven with other civil disputes, the People’s Court shall handle the matter according to the requests chosen by the parties concerned themselves.  Where a number of different requests is made, the Peoples Court shall, according to the relevant provisions of the “Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China” and the real situation of the case, try in combination the matters that may be tried in combination; for matters that cannot be tried in combination, the parties concerned may be notified to lodge a separate complaint.

 

最高人民法院关于审理名誉权案件若干问题的解释
(1998年7月14日最高人民法院审判委员会第1002次会议通过 法释[1998]26号)
1993年我院印发《关于审理名誉权案件若干问题的解答》以来,各地人民法院在审理名誉权案件中,又提出一些如何适用法律的问题,现解释如下:
一、问:名誉权案件如何确定侵权结果发生地?
答:人民法院受理这类案件时,受侵权的公民、法人和其他组织的住所地,可以认定为侵权结果发生地。
二、问:有关机关和组织编印的仅供领导部门内部参阅的刊物、资料等刊登来信或者文章引起的名誉权纠纷,以及机关、社会团体、学术机构、企事业单位分发本单位、本系统或者其他一定范围内的一般内部刊物和内部资料所载内容引起的名誉权纠纷,人民法院是否受理?
答:有关机关和组织编印的仅供领导部门内部参阅的刊物、资料等刊登的来信或者文章,当事人以其内容侵害名誉权向人民法院提起诉讼的,人民法院不予受理。
机关、社会团体、学术机构、企事业单位分发本单位、本系统或者其他一定范围内的内部刊物和内部资料,所载内容引起名誉权纠纷的,人民法院应当受理。
三、问:新闻媒介和出版机构转载作品引起的名誉纠纷,人民法院是否受理?
答:新闻媒介和出版机构转载作品,当事人以转载者侵害其名誉权向人民法院提起诉讼的,人民法院应当受理。
四、问:国家机关、社会团体、企事业单位等部门依职权对其管理的人员作出的结论引起的名誉权纠纷,人民法院是否受理?
答:国家机关、社会团体、企事业单位等部门对其管理的人员作出的结论或者处理决定,当事人以其侵害名誉权向人民法院提起诉讼的,人民法院不予受理。
五、问:因检举、控告引起的名誉权纠纷,人民法院是否受理?
答:公民依法向有关部门检举、控告他人的违法违纪行为,他人以检举、控告侵害其名誉权向人民法院提起诉讼的,人民法院不予受理。如果借检举、控告之名侮辱、诽谤他人,造成他人名誉损害,当事人以其名誉权受到侵害向人民法院提起诉讼的,人民法院应当受理。
六、问:新闻单位报道国家机关的公开的文书和职权行为引起的名誉以纠纷,是否认定为构成侵权?
答:新闻单位根据国家机关依职权制作的公开的文书和实施的公开的职权行为所作的报道,其报道客观准确的,不应当认定为侵害他人名誉权;其报道失实,或者前述文书和职权行为已公开纠正而拒绝更正报道,致使他人名誉受到损害的,应当认定为侵害他人名誉权。
七、问:因提供新闻材料引起的名誉权纠纷,如何认定是否构成侵权?
答:因提供新闻材料引起的名誉权纠纷,认定是否构成侵权,应区分以下两种情况:
(一)主动提供新闻材料,致使他人名誉受到损害的,应当认定为侵害他人名誉权。
(二)因被动采访而提供新闻材料,且未经提供者同意公开,新闻单位擅自发表,致使他人名誉受到损害的,对提供者一般不应当认定为侵害名誉权;虽系被动提供新闻材料,但发表时得到提供者同意或者默许,致使他人名誉受到损害的,应当认定为侵害名誉权。
八、问:因医疗卫生单位公开患者患有淋病、梅毒、麻风病、艾滋病等病情引起的名誉权纠纷,如何认定是否构成侵权?
答:医疗卫生单位的工作人员擅自公开患者患有淋病、麻风病、梅毒、艾滋病等病情,致使患者名誉受到损害的,应当认定为侵害患者名誉权。
医疗卫生单位向患者或其家属通报病情,不应当认定为侵害患者名誉权。
九、问:对产品质量、服务质量进行批评、评论引起的名誉权纠纷,如何认定是否构成侵权?
答:消费者对生产者、经营者、销售者的产品质量或者服务质量进行批评、评论,不应当认定为侵害他人名誉权。但借机诽谤、诋毁,损害其名誉的,应当认定为侵害名誉权。
新闻单位对生产者、经营者、销售者的产品质量或者服务质量进行批评、评论,内容基本属实,没有侮辱内容的,不应当认定为侵害其名誉权;主要内容失实,损害其名誉的,应当认定为侵害名誉权。
十、问:因名誉权受到侵害使生产、经营、销售遭受损失予以赔偿的范围和数额如何确定?
答:因名誉权受到侵害使生产、经营、销售遭受损失予以赔偿的范围和数额,可以按照确因侵权而造成客户退货、解除合同等损失程度来适当确定。
十一、问:名誉权纠纷与其他民事纠纷交织在一起的,人民法院应如何审理?
答:名誉权纠纷与其他民事纠纷交织在一起的,人民法院应当按当事人自己选择的请求予以审理。发生适用数种请求的,人民法院应当根据《中华人民共和国民事诉讼法》的有关规定和案件的实际情况,可以合并审理的合并审理;不能合并审理的,可以告知当事人另行起诉。

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

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

    […] Notice concerning Accrediting the First Batch of Mixed State-Level Culture, Science and Technology Demonstration Bases (2012) Interpretation concerning Some Questions in Hearing Reputation Right Cases (1998) […]

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