Sun, 28 Feb 2021

China mulls legal aid law

Xinhua
20 Jan 2021, 18:56 GMT+10

© Provided by Xinhua | A lawyer answers telephone calls through a platform of government service hotline "12345" to provide legal advisory service on women's rights protection for citizens in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, March 7, 2020. (Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua)

BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lawmakers are considering a legal aid law to better protect people's legitimate rights and interests.

A draft of the legislation was submitted Wednesday to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, for the first reading.

The draft defines legal aid as a service rendered by the country free of charge to people in financial difficulties and other personnel that meet the statutory requirements. The service ranges from legal counseling to criminal defense.

According to the draft, applicants eligible for legal aid include those who seek compensation for work-related injuries as well as injuries sustained in traffic, medical, and food and drug safety accidents, and need a lawyer but cannot appoint one due to financial difficulties.

Those who make a claim for payment of child support or support for other family members, or for work remuneration, may apply for legal aid if they cannot afford a lawyer, the draft notes.

Judicial administration departments of governments at or above the county level should establish legal aid institutions, according to the draft.

Such institutions may assign duty lawyers to people's courts, procuratorates and detention centers to help those in need, it adds.

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