Shanghai schools get legal counselors

Updated: 2015-02-13 11:13

By Li Yang in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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All schools in Shanghai will have their legal counselors starting in June, according to the city's education commission.

"They will be in charge of giving legal suggestions and solution proposals on all kinds of legal disputes, participate in drafting the schools' rules and regulations to ensure the schools strictly abide by the laws," said a commission spokesman. "They can also directly take part in the litigation, arbitration and the other legal affairs involving schools."

The schools can directly employ the legal counselors. According to the commission's rules, universities can hire professional lawyers familiar with education laws and regulations, as well as school management, as their permanent legal counselors, or teachers with lawyer certificates.

Several primary and middle schools can jointly employ a legal counselor. Or the district and country education administrative departments can employ and manage a group of legal counselors to provide legal services for all schools in the prefecture.

The Pudong school district has had a legal counselor system since last year. Kindergartens, primary, middle and vocational schools in the district organize dozens of law counselor groups themselves. The district has 623 schools below the college level and more than 460,000 students.

Previously, some students' parents pressured schools for compensation when student-injuries occurred. Many schools in Pudong said the legal counselors can help solve such disputes through proposing solutions based on laws.

Pudong's justice bureau selects qualified lawyers who are willing to offer their services to schools at low prices. The district education authority's spokesman said that although legal counselors are employed by the schools, they will balance the legal interests of the all relevant parties in disputes and not just defend the schools' interests.

(China Daily USA 02/13/2015 page6)