The Judicial Department of Beijing has been sticking to the rule of law throughout the period of epidemic prevention and control, providing strong legal support for the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Examining official documents
The department's document review division has been particularly busy since the outbreak, preoccupied with reviewing epidemic-related documents released by the municipal government in order to make sure that they are consistent with existing legislation.
"We must guarantee that all the documents issued in the name of the municipal government comply with the current laws and regulations, and firmly hold on to the rule of law as the bottom line," said Zhang Ying, head of the division. "This is also what the municipal government explicitly asked for."
No matter how fast the documents were drafted, none of them could skip the review process, according to Zhang.
During the review of a document on providing support for local SMEs amid the epidemic, the division set up a 24-hour response mechanism to make sure that teleconferences on the document could be convened at any time. As a result, the document was released in only 32 hours.
Meanwhile, the office for law-based governance of the municipal Party committee has also taken a variety of measures to lay a solid legal foundation for the prevention efforts such as organizing lawyers to summarize foreign experience on handling public health emergencies.
Supervising law enforcement
Making sure that various enforcement activities are carried out in accordance with the law is also part of the idea of law-based epidemic prevention and control.
Shi Kai, head of the bureau's law enforcement supervision division, said that after the launch of the first-level response to major public health emergencies in Beijing, the division started to communicate with other administrative agencies like the health department in an effort to determine the key tasks of law enforcement and the applicable laws and regulations.
To cope with the supervision shortage in workplaces as more and more people return to work, the bureau assisted the municipal government in developing rules for epidemic-related law enforcement in office buildings, department stores and restaurants, ensuring adequate supervision of such sites by readjusting the work division among government agencies.
Supporting work resumption
Apart from epidemic prevention and control, the bureau is also contributing to the work resumption of enterprises.
To better address enterprises' legal concerns, it has organized lawyers to provide free legal 24/7 consultations.
It also rolled out nine concrete measures to help local law firms, especially small and medium-sized ones, withstand the impact of the epidemic.
Meanwhile, the city's mediation organizations at all levels are also mobilized to collect and mediate disputes over a variety of issues ranging from residential leasing to labor relations.