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Legal Aid in Shen zhen Special Economic Zone, Guang dong  

2011-05-24 11:11:35|  分类: legal aid in chi |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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[Blogger’ notes]From June 2009 to the late of 2010, the Ministry of Justice of China launched a Project of Convenient Access to Legal Aid nationwide. The main contents of the Project are composed of expanding legal aid scope, establishing/improving legal aid shop-fronts, simplifying legal aid procedures, widening legal aid application channels, choosing service forms most suitable to clients, promoting the use of computer technologies in legal aid work, improve the legal aid service quality and so on. On 30th March, 2011, M.O.J China held a Videophone Conference to summarize and share experiences/methods. The relevant persons, from Guang dong, He nan, Zhe jiang, An hui, Shan dong, Jiang su, Hu bei, Ning xia provinces/autonomous regions, made speeches on experiences/methods at the Conference. The following is main experiences/methods from legal aid work of Shen zhen Special Economic Zone, Guang dong:    

 

Legal Aid in Shen zhen Special Economic Zone, Guang dong

--------Realization of Sustainable Development and Accessibility in Innovation

 

For the purpose of delivering accessible, high- quality and efficient legal aid services to the vulnerable, the Justice Bureau of Shen zhen Special Economic Zone (SZJB), around how to strengthen the resources’ guarantee, administration, delivery of services and social influence, has been exploring new ideas and expanding services areas.

1. System guarantee: innovate the legislation and develop a pilot.    

As one of special economic zones, Shen zhen has the local legislative power. In the light of new situations of legal aid, the Local Legal Aid Regulation was amended. The Regulation forms the strong basis for the Zone legal aid from four aspects as below:

Firstly, further drop the legal aid threshold. If the client with a per capita monthly income of his/her family less than 1000 Yuan RMBhigher than the local poor line with a per capita monthly income of a family less than 415 Yuan RMB, he/she can apply for legal aid as he/she needs to do so. According to the financial eligibility lines, the legal aid coverage is expanding to more than 60% low income households. Secondly, when the clients apply for legal aid, they are no longer restricted by the legal aid cases’ scope. Thirdly, the supplementary legal aid system was initially established. Through the supplementary legal aid system, the client, whose income is higher than the financial eligibility lines, but still, cannot afford the private lawyer’s fee, is included in legal aid subjects. Fourthly, a local open-budget policy was carried out. While the annual legal aid cases increases, the annual legal aid budget is raised without a ceiling. In 2009 and 2010, the local legal aid budget is 15 million and 19 million respectively.

2. One hour distance services circle: strengthen and improve the accommodation of legal aid shop-fronts.

For the convenience of the people who need legal help, the Zone implemented a legal aid strategy of “going out”, optimized the distribution of legal aid network by establishing legal aid shop-fronts/workstations in places where legal disputes frequently take place; actively deliver legal aid services, such as legal advices, public education and other legal aid services, in local courts, labor dispute arbitration committees, detention houses, communities, schools, organizations serving disable persons and etc. Additionally, on purpose of resolving the difficulties for the people, who live in suburb areas, to apply for legal aid and get quickly help from legal aid practitioners, the Zone spent more than three millions on customizing two special vehicles to provide legal aid itinerant services.

3. Integrate and optimize the uses of legal aid force.                                

Positively seek help from local human resources departments and local financial departments in order to solve the problem of lacking of legal aid practitioners. Firstly, the Zone set up a legal aid force composed of legal aid staff, private lawyers, legal services workers and volunteers. Now, there are over 180 fulltime/part-time administrative staff and seven thousands legal aid volunteers in the Zone. Secondly, introduce firstly social workers with professional skill into legal aid institutions, to provide psychological help and individual consulting for the clients who have problems, such as, psychological instability, extreme behaviors and even psychological illness, to avoiding possible serious social outcomes. Thirdly, the Zone actively attracts students from college/universities of law, as duty lawyers’ assistants in legal aid services shop-fronts, providing the clients with supplementary services.

4. Improve the legal aid services quality by practical and effective measures

Focusing on providing high quality and efficient legal aid services for the vulnerable, the Zone continuously innovates the administrative ways, enhances practitioners’ ability and controls cases’ quality. Firstly, actively push forward the professionalization of legal aid services. The Zone adopted a legal aid practitioners’ accession system, that is, only those lawyers with professional specialties, years of legal services and public prestige, can be qualified as legal aid practitioners. At the same time, the legal aid remuneration was raised in order to motivate the lawyers to provide the vulnerable with high quality legal aid service. Secondly, start up fully legal aid information computer process system. For raising the work efficiency, from receiving/examining of legal aid application, assigning lawyers to deal with cases, to data statistics collection/analysis and submission, all these work will be processed in computer through internet, the five-business-day limitation of examination of legal aid application is shortened to three business-days. Thirdly, strengthen the management and supervision of legal aid work to improve the quality of handling legal aid cases. As for internal supervision and control methods, mainly involved tracking the whole course track system of handling cases, the assessment of legal aid cases completed on random and visiting court sessions; as for the external measures are composed of the clients’ feedback, views from judges and the dependant social worker review and etc. according to the third-party survey of satisfaction in 2010, the degree of satisfaction of the citizen in Zone on legal environment development, including legal aid, is 80.67%.

 

(Sources: China Legal Aid, No.4, 2011, sponsored by Legal Aid Center of M.O.J, China)             

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