Ministry of Justice seeks improved legal aid system


Judicial organs administrativedepartmentsat all levels should further promote legal aid work, improve the legal aid system under socialism with Chinese characteristics and strive to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of people in need, said Minister of Justice, Wu Aiying at a meetingtheMeeting on legal Aid Improvement on October 19 in Beijing.

Wu delivered a comprehensive plan for guiding and improving China’s legal aid system at the meetingMeeting. "We should follow the guide by putting various tasks and measures in place to enable legal aid to develop in a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable way," she said.

Wu said, China will expand the scope of legal aid. Judicial administrative organs departments at all levels should study and implement the central government’s decisions and planning on improving people's livelihood, form standards of economic difficulty and establish a dynamic adjustment mechanism to ensure legal aid benefits more people in need. More efforts are required in poor areas or where poverty alleviation has been targeted. Priority should be given to legal aid for migrant workers, military personnel, laid-off workers, women, minors, the elderly and the disabled. The judicial organs departments should also pay more attention to criminal legal aid, providing assistance for parties to criminal proceedings in accordance with the law. In addition, legal aid advisory services should be enhanced by increasing the function of the "12348" legal service hotline and effectively using network and new communication tools for full provision of legal advisory services.

China should improve the quality of legal aid. Judicial organslegal aid institutions need to handle every single legal aid case with efficiency. We should standardize legal aid, speed up procedures, and provide legal aid services for all eligible recipients. The assignments of cases must be improved to raise specialization levels and ensure reasonable deployment of contractors and personnel.

Judicial organs administrativedepartments should strictly abide by statutory procedures and practice norms, and comprehensively regulate all aspects of the program. Efforts will be made to improve quality supervision and the complaint handling system. It is also necessary to establish a long-term mechanism that can make legal aid convenient and effective through an improved service network, wider channels of application, and innovative service modes.

It is essential to strengthen the support for legal aid. Judicial administrative organs departments should emphasize that the support, focusing more on the grass-roots and the less developed areas. We need to ensure the implementation of the various support policies and measures, strengthening funding guarantees and ensureing that the funding meets the case handling needs. A dynamic subsidy adjustment mechanism should be established to determine the reasonable subsidies required to effectively mobilize personnel required for varying case loads. China We should improve the relevant financial management system and increase its supervision to ensure that earmarked funds are used for specified purpose only.

Strengthening the construction of legal aid infrastructure by increasing legal aid workstations and contact points to make it more convenient for people to apply for legal aid is also important. Public legal aid education information will help lift legal aid work to a new level.

It is also vital to strengthen the construction of legal aid institutions and agencies so they can fully perform their duties. It is necessary to help legal aid personnel improve their understanding of their work, and increase their political and overall consciousness to enable them to have a strong work ethic and a people-first mindset.

In addition, education and training should be increased to enhance the professional level and service quality of legal aid personnel. Various methods and channels need to be followed to enlarge the work force and to overcome the shortage of legal aid authority and lawyers at the grassroots level. It is also important to protect the legitimate rights and interests of legal aid institutions and personnel and to standardize their practice so that they will be sure to perform their obligations in accordance with the law.

Vice-minister of Justice Zhao Dacheng said at the meeting Meeting that judicial administrative organs departments at all levels and legal aid workers themselves should improve their management capacity to better apply the relevant policies and enhance their work skills.Advanced collectivesand individuals in legal aid work nationwide were honored at themeeting, with representatives of the Departments of Justice of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Guangdong, Ningxia giving speeches.