Opinions on Strengthening the Work on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons

 2018-07-03  7


· Document Number:No.10 [2009] of China Disabled Persons’ Federation

· Area of Law: Civil Law

· Level of Authority: Group Provisions

· Date issued:05-06-2009

· Effective Date:05-06-2009

· Status: Effective

· Issuing Authority: Ministry of Public Security Supreme People's Court Supreme People's Procuratorate

 

Notice of the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and China Disabled Persons' Federation on Issuing the Opinions on Strengthening the Work on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons
(No.10 [2009] of China Disabled Persons' Federation)
The people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security departments (bureaus), departments (bureaus) of justice, civil affairs departments (bureaus), human resources and social security (personnel, labor security) departments (bureaus), education departments (commissions, bureaus), health departments (bureaus) and disabled persons' federations of all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government and cities under separate state planning, the Working Committee for the Disabled under Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and the Working Committee for the Disabled under the General Bureau of State Farms of Heilongjiang Province:
To implement the requirements of the Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Promoting the Development of the Cause of Disabled Persons, the “Eleventh Five-Year” Outline for the Development of the Cause of Disabled Persons, the “Eleventh Five-Year” Plan on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons and the Measures for the Implementation of the “Eleventh Five-Year” Plan on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons and to facilitate the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons, the Opinions on Strengthening the Work on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons are formulated, and are hereby issued to you for your earnest compliance and implementation.
Supreme People's Court
Supreme People's Procuratorate
Ministry of Public Security
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Civil Affairs
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Health
China Disabled Persons' Federation
May 6. 2009
Opinions on Strengthening the Work on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons
The Party and the state attach great importance to the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons. On March 28, 2008, the Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Promoting the Development of the Cause of Disabled Persons (No.7 [2008] of the CPC Central Committee) pointed out that “we shall set up a legal aid system for disabled persons and do a good job in providing legal services, legal aid and judicial relief to disabled persons. We shall make more efforts in investigating cases about infringing upon the legitimate rights and interests of disabled persons and giving corresponding punishments.” On April 24, 2008, the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Disabled Persons was amended and adopted at the 2nd Session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress, which strengthened the functions of the relevant entities and departments in protecting the rights and interests of disabled persons and specified the relevant contents about providing legal aid to disabled persons. The “Eleventh Five-Year” Outline for the Development of the Cause of Disabled Persons which was approved and forwarded by the State Council required to establish a legal aid system for disabled persons to solve the actual difficulties of disabled persons. The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and China Disabled Persons' Federation jointly formulated and issued the “Eleventh Five-Year” Plan on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons and the Measures for the Implementation of the “Eleventh Five-Year” Plan on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons, which expressly stipulated the tasks, objectives and major measures of the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons during the “eleventh five-year” period, specified the functions and duties of all competent entities and departments in the said work and established a firm basis for the smooth proceeding of the legal aid work. On June 26, 2008, the Third Session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress ratified China's acceding to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN) which requests the contracting states to take effective measures to make sure that disabled persons are under equal judicial protection. To effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of disabled persons, do a good job in providing legal aid to them and make sure that they have access to legal aid services, we hereby put forward the following opinions:
I. Fully Understanding the Significance of Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons from the Perspective of Building a Socialist Harmonious Society
China has 83 million disabled persons that involve 260 million of family population. The group of disabled persons involves a large population, has a prominent characteristic and needs particular attention and assistance. The Party and the Central Government are always concerned for disabled persons, attach great importance to the cause of disabled persons and, especially after the reform and opening-up, have taken a series of big steps which promote the continuous development of the cause of disabled persons, improve the environment and conditions for disabled persons to get involved in social activities, improve their legal consciousness and strengthen their capability for protecting their own rights and interest. However, their weak position in the society has not been changed fundamentally, and they are still the most difficult group among all weak groups. The overall living situations of disabled persons still lag far behind the average level. Cases about discriminating against disabled persons or infringing upon their rights and interests occur from time to tome. It is still very difficult for many disabled persons to get the information they need, hire lawyers, engage in lawsuits and pay legal cost. We still have a long way to go before sufficiently meeting their demands for legal services. Protecting the rights and interests of disabled persons is still a fundamental and long-term task in the development of the cause of disabled persons.
Providing legal aid to disabled persons is an important content of building a socialist harmonious society. The CPC Central Committee decided the important strategic task of building a socialist harmonious society after considering the overall arrangements in building socialism with Chinese characteristics and the overall situation of the work on building a well-off society in an all-round way. The first principle for building a socialist harmonious society lies in taking the people as the foremost, which means that the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people shall be always taken as the starting point and ultimate goal of all work of the Party and the state and all efforts shall be made to realize, protect and develop the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. The group of disabled persons is the most difficult group out of all weak groups, the protection of their rights and interests is of great significance to the building of a socialist harmonious society. Providing legal aid services to disabled persons is a scientific and effective method to protect the rights and interests of disabled persons and is good for giving full play to the functions and roles of judicial relief, legal aid and legal services of the state so that disabled persons can enjoy more and better low-threshold legal services. Effectively protecting the legitimate rights and interests of disabled persons and providing legal aid services to them are important contents of building a socialist harmonious society.
At present, China is at a critical period of reform and development as the economic structure, social structure, interests structure and people's ideology all change profoundly. These unprecedented social changes bring along contradictions and problems as many as opportunities for development and progress. Disabled persons are less able to withstand risks and protect their own rights and interests, and there are very limited ways for them to do so, so they have more difficulties and obstacles than others in the face of economic and social changes. Providing legal aid services for disabled persons is a requisite for building a socialist harmonious society, a reflection of the philosophy of administering state affairs by law and the cause of protecting human rights in the work on disabled persons, and a way for improving disabled persons' awareness and ability of protecting their own rights and interests. It can give more opportunities for disabled persons to enjoy the achievements in economic and social development as well as reform and opening-up. The people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security departments, judicial administrative departments, civil affairs departments, human resources and social security departments, education departments, health departments and disabled persons' federations at all levels shall deepen their understanding about the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons, put the work on agenda, and promulgate effective policies and measures so as to carry out the work in an in-depth way.
II. Following the Scientific View of Development and Carrying Out the Work on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons in an All-round Way
To do well the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons, the governments at all levels shall play a leading role, and the relevant departments shall take their respective responsibilities and coordinate with each other so as to jointly do a good job in providing legal aid to disabled persons. Establishing institutions responsible for coordinating the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons is good for coordinating the relevant departments in jointly doing the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons, for making policies and plans on providing legal aid to disabled persons and for properly handling the big, difficult problems encountered in the process. On February 19, 2008, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the former Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and China Disabled Persons' Federation set up the Group for Coordinating and Leading the Work on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons and the Office thereof and, by means such as holding meetings and making investigation and research in key areas, made great efforts in studying and arranging the orderly proceeding of the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons throughout the country. Institutions for coordinating the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons were established successively in Liaoning, Hubei, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, Henan, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang, Shanxi, Hebei, Tianjin, General Bureau of State Farms of Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, etc. In Hebei Province, the institution for coordinating the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons incorporated the Committee for Internal and Judicial Affairs under the People's Congress of Hebei province, the Committee for Social and Legal Affairs under the Political Consultative Conference of Hebei Province and the Public Finance Department of Hebei Province as its member entities. In Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the institution for coordinating the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons incorporated the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the region as its member entity. All these efforts have contributed to the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons.
The people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security departments, judicial administrative departments, civil affairs departments, human resources and social security departments, education departments, health departments and disabled persons' federations at all levels undertake different tasks in providing legal aid to disabled persons within their respective functions and duties. The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and China Disabled Persons' Federation have been making thorough and orderly arrangements for providing legal aid to disabled persons through various channels and in various forms and have promulgated a series of policies and measures to provide more and better legal aid services to disabled persons. At the same time, they give publicity to the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons via such newspapers and periodicals as the Gazette of the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China, the Procuratorial Daily and the China Legal Aid and thus create a good social atmosphere for providing legal aid to disabled persons. The local people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security departments, judicial administrative departments, civil affairs departments, human resources and social security departments, education departments, health departments and disabled persons' federations also, in various forms, make more efforts in the study, arrangement and publicity of the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons within their respective regions, which have effectively promoted the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons in an all-round way.
The people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security departments, judicial administrative departments, civil affairs departments, human resources and social security departments, education departments, health departments and disabled persons' federations at all levels shall, according to the requirements of the Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Promoting the Development of the Cause of Disabled Persons, take advantage of the time of deepening the study and practice of the scientific view of development, guide the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons with the scientific view of development, set up institutions to coordinate the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons in time, strengthen communication and coordination, fulfill their obligations, continuously improve the legal aid system for disabled persons, make great efforts to overcome all difficulties and obstacles in the work, avoid formalism, and provide legal aid services to disabled persons in good earnest.
III. Sticking to the Principle of “Orienting at Disabled Persons” and Giving Play to the Role of Legal Aid Workstations
The workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons are not only the coordination and service institutions providing legal aid to disabled persons but also the enforcement institutions guaranteeing that disabled persons get the right legal aid services. Doing a good job in building workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons is good for building up channels for effectively providing services for disabled persons, knowing their aspirations and removing all difficulties they have in getting legal services.
To facilitate the building of workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons, the Group for Coordinating and Leading the Work on Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons decided to establish a batch of legal aid workstations (see Annex 1) around the whole nation and formulated the Provisions on the Administration of Workstations Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons (see Annex 2). Regions with approval for establishing workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons shall assign special persons to take charge of the routine of the workstations and actively provide legal aid services to disabled persons through socializing methods. The people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security departments, judicial administrative departments, civil affairs departments, human resources and social security departments, education departments, health departments and disabled persons' federations at the same level shall jointly make the working rules and announce the scope and requirements of cases for which legal aid services can be directly provided to disabled persons, and appoint their respective liaisons in touch with the workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons so as to jointly do a good job in the building of workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons.
For regions without approval for establishing workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons, the people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security departments, judicial administrative departments, civil affairs departments, human resources and social security departments, education departments, health departments and disabled persons' federations at the same level shall seriously make investigation and research so as to get prepared for establishing workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons according to the local actual situations.
The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and China Disabled Persons' Federation shall jointly do a good job in guiding, supervising and inspecting the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons in local regions, provide trainings to persons engaging in the provision of legal aid to disabled persons, standardize the establishment of workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons and realize network connections among them so as to always turn a new page of the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons.
Annex 1:
List of Workstations Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons
Xicheng District, Beijing Municipality
Changping District, Beijing Municipality
Hedong District, Tianjin Municipality
Dagang District, Tianjin Municipality
Hebei Province
Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province
Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province
Xinzhou City, Shanxi Province
Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Baotou City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Liaoning Province
Dalian City, Liaoning Province
Jilin City, Jilin Province
Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province
Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province
Daoli District of Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province
Shanghai Municipality
Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Tongzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province
Yuhang District of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province
Tongling City, An'hui Province
Shucheng County, An'hui Province
Putian City, Fujian Province
Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province
Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province
Dongying City, Shandong Province
Tengzhou City, Shandong Province
Zhengzhou City, Henan Province
Jiaozuo City, Henan Province
Wuhan City, Hubei Province
Huangshi City, Hubei Province
Hunan Province
Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province
Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province
Dongguan City, Guangdong Province
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Wuzhou City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Haikou City, Hainan Province
Qionghai City, Hainan Province
Sichuan Province
Dazhou City, Sichuan Province
Jiangbei District, Chongqing Municipality
Fuling District, Chongqing Municipality
Zunyi City, Guizhou Province
Yunnan Province
Qujing City, Yunan Province
Shaanxi Province
Xianyang City, Shaanxi Province
Gansu Province
Tianshui City, Gansu Province
Xining City, Qinghai Province
Yinchuan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
Urumqi City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Akesu Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Division 8, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps
Annex 2:
Provisions on the Administration of Workstations Providing Legal Aid to Disabled Persons
Article 1 The term “workstations providing legal aid to disabled persons” (hereinafter referred to as legal aid workstations) refers to the coordination and service institutions which provide legal aid to qualified disabled persons.
Article 2 The establishment of legal aid workstations shall be subject to the approval of the groups for coordinating and leading the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons (hereinafter referred to the coordinating and leading groups).
The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and China Disabled Persons' Federation shall guide and supervise the legal aid workstations.
The people's courts, people's procuratorates, public security departments, judicial administrative departments, civil affairs departments, human resources and social security departments, education departments, health departments and disabled persons' federations at the same level shall jointly take charge of the relevant business and management of the legal aid workstations.
A legal aid workstation shall be set under the disabled persons' federation at the same level.
Article 3 The legal aid to disabled persons shall include, but not limited to, consultation, writing legal documents for them, mediation, coordination, procuracy, etc.
Article 4 Disabled persons can, in written or oral form, apply to the legal aid workstations for legal aid. The legal aid workstations shall seriously handle the legal aid applications of disabled persons.
Article 5 A legal aid workstation shall, for an application which meets the legal aid or judicial relief conditions, transfer it to the competent authority and assist the applicant in acquiring the appropriate legal aid or judicial relief.
For cases for which the function of providing legal services and aid to disabled persons remains with other entities or departments, the legal aid workstations shall assist the disabled persons concerned in acquiring the appropriate legal services and aid.
Article 6 Except for cases prescribed in Article 5, the legal aid workstations shall directly provide legal aid to disabled persons according to the local actual situations.
The scope and conditions of cases for which legal aid can be directly provided shall be announced by the legal aid workstations.
The legal aid workstations shall directly provide legal aid to cases in which: 1. disabled persons have economic difficulties (the specific standards shall be determined by the legal aid workstations according to the local actual situations); 2. the interests of the group of disabled persons are infringed upon; and 3. the circumstances are complicated, many aspects are concerned and big social influence is involved.
The legal aid workstations shall continuously expand the scope and contents of the legal aid services provided to disabled persons.
Article 7 The legal aid workstations shall have full-time staff in charge of the work on providing legal aid to disabled persons. They are encouraged to employ lawyers, legal workers, volunteers and other persons to provide legal aid to disabled persons through socializing methods.
Article 8 The legal aid workstations shall set up and improve the case registration system, the archiving system and the statistical system.
Article 9 The legal aid workstations shall make more efforts in publicity and lay emphasis on typical cases of great significance to the society.
Article 10 The legal aid workstations shall, at the end of each year, file their annual work reports to the coordinating and leading groups at the same level as well as the relevant entities and departments.
Article 11 The expenses needed by the legal aid workstations shall be paid by the public finance of the people's governments at the same level. China Disabled Persons' Federation and other relevant entities and departments shall provide financial support for the legal aid workstations through various channels.
The legal aid workstations shall set up good financial rules to regulate the use of funds.
Article 12 The legal aid workstations established upon approval of the coordinating and leading groups shall do their work according to the above-mentioned provisions.
The local coordinating and leading groups may build legal aid workstations within their respective administrative regions according to the above-mentioned provisions.