The Chinese government will be committed to the obligation of
providing legal aid for the needy and minorities, as a new
regulation concerning legal assistance takes effect on Sept. 1.
The new regulation will, for the first time, develop the legal aid
from benevolent practices of individual lawyers or social
organizations into a duty of governments, said Minister of Justice
Zhang Fusen on Thursday.
The Chinese government will not only strive to create better
policies and social environment for legal assistance development,
but also guarantee the funds needed for daily operation of legal
aid organizations, which are banned from seeking profits, Zhang
Meanwhile, judicial authorities at various levels are also impelled
to strengthen supervision and management over the operation of
legal assistance organizations, Zhang said.
The new regulation, a milestone for the increasingly mature
democratic legal system in China, is believed to be helpful in
standardizing and developing the country's legal aid mechanism.
The Chinese government invested 78.04 million yuan (US$9.44
million) in legal assistance to needy citizens last year.
Currently, China has 2,642 legal aid organizations with 8,899
(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2003)