China plans legislation on legal aid

Updated: 2015-07-23 07:58


  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

BEIJING - Chinese legal experts met on Wednesday to discuss how to perfect the country's legal aid system, as the government plans legislation on the matter.

A draft of the legislation will be transferred to the State Council later this year, said Sun Jianying, director of the Ministry of Justice's Department of Legal Aid, at the seminar.

Nine million people have received legal assistance since the introduction of a regulation on legal aid in 2003, said Sun.

With the public increasingly aware of their legal rights, more and more citizens are turning to legal aid, and the existing system has become inadequate.

It particularly needs to be improved during the stage of investigation, review and prosecution, said Gu Yongzhong, a professor on criminal law study with China University of Political Science and Law.

More than 70 percent of recipients of legal aid lack literacy, which means they need assistants to use plain language so they can understand their legal rights, said Tong Lihua, a legal aid expert with the All China Lawyers Association.

Sun said another problem hindering legal aid is the shortage of funding. Nine percent of counties still haven't included legal aid into the government budget.

But he said the new draft will ask all governments at city and county level to bring legal aid funds into the budget.

The government should give private legal firms financial incentives to participate in legal aid, Tong suggested.