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China to Amend Law for Smoother State Compensation Procedures

China on Thursday discussed drafting an amendment to the state compensation law, which would guarantee smoother channels and improved procedures for victims seeking compensation from state organs.

State organs under compensatory obligations should decide whether to compensate or not within two months after receiving appeals, according to the amendment, which was being scrutinized by the Fifth Session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress.

Those who claimed compensation from state organs but were not satisfied with the result, could complain to the state organs' superior departments, the amendment said.

If they were still not satisfied or didn't receive prompt replies, they could appeal to the courts at the same level, according to the draft.

Problems including insufficient law enforcement against state organs under compensatory obligations, delays in making decisions and delivering compensation and a shortage of financing support had made it difficult for victims to protect their rights and interests, said Li Shishi, head of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee.

"The amendment tackles those problems and will provide a quicker and easier way for them to seek compensation."

Apart from those changes, the draft amendment would also increase an article about both victims and state organs' obligations in providing evidence for their claims. It also, for the first time, added compensation for psychic injury.

To help victims get paid promptly, the amendment said state organs had to deliver compensation applications to the relevant financial departments within seven days of receiving a compensation invoices from the victims. The relevant financial departments should in turn pay the victims within 15 days.

The state compensation law was approved by the National People's Congress in May 1994 and was put into effect starting in 1995.

It plays an important role in solving conflict between citizens and state organs, and to sustain social stabilities, Li said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2008)

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