Legal aid in Guangzhou plays critical role in helping people in need

(en.moj.gov.cn)| Updated: 2020-08-11

By handling approximately 11,400 cases in the first half of this year, legal aid institutions across Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong province, helped people recover up to 100 million yuan ($14.35 million) in financial losses through their convenient, efficient and inclusive services.

Innovative approaches

1. Actively using the local legal aid hotline and online platforms to provide services remotely

2. Adjusting the workflow for non-typical cases

3. Significantly simplifying the legal aid application procedure by applying the system of notification and commitment to the verification of applicants' financial difficulties

4. Guiding legal aid receivers in settling their legal disputes through negotiation

5. Establishing an online labor dispute mediation mechanism with its mediation results qualified for judicial confirmation

6. Consolidating various legal services and improving a coordination mechanism with the city's judicial administration system

7. Strengthening ties with such authorities as courts, procuratorates, departments for human resources and civil affairs as well as local trade unions

8. Establishing a cooperation mechanism with the local veteran affairs authority to provide legal aid for veterans

9. Setting up legal aid offices in procuratorates and detention houses at prefectural and district levels to provide services in criminal cases where suspects plead guilty for leniency

10. Implementing a legal-aid lawyer agency system for cases involving application for state compensation or judicial relief

11. Launching a mini program on WeChat where people can make appointments for legal counseling or apply for legal aid

12. Rolling out a digital archive system at legal aid institutions at prefectural and district levels

13. Able to complete the procedures ranging from examination of a legal aid application to delivery of the decision on whether the application is approved to the applicant within one work day, and realizing whole-process online handling of legal aid cases

Focus on disadvantaged groups

1. Enhancing the brand of legal aid by focusing on improving people's livelihood and helping migrant workers and people with disabilities

2. Exempting medical workers, soldiers, police officers, community workers and volunteers who worked at the front line of the COVID-19 fight from submitting evidence of their financial distress

3. Providing considerate services for migrant workers and actively participating in poverty relief work

4. Relying on public legal service stations and offices to offer legal aid to people enjoying basic living allowance, households enjoying "five guarantees", severely disabled people, rural households in extreme poverty as well as owners of small and medium-size businesses who are in financial hardship because of the COVID-19 epidemic

Ensure service quality

1. Strictly implementing the province's guideline for identifying financially-strapped citizens who are eligible for legal aid as well as guidelines for providing legal aid in civil, criminal, administrative cases and arbitrations over labor disputes

2. Improving a dynamic mechanism for subsidizing legal aid lawyers based on their work quality

3. Developing specific rules for lawyers to enter and exit the regular legal aid force, and setting the standard for evaluating the work quality of legal aid lawyers

4. Releasing specific guidelines for handling of minor-related legal aid cases, arranging experienced lawyers knowledgeable about minors' psychological health to support 12355, the minor-specific psychological counseling and legal aid hotline, and joining forces with the city's procuratorate to provide minors with legal aid services

5. Establishing a special committee to address complicated issues surrounding legal aid and strengthening day-to-day supervision over handling of legal aid cases

6. Organizing experts to tackle significant or complicated legal aid cases in group discussions and to monitor the handling of such cases throughout the whole process

7. Examining legal aid cases on a regular basis to maintain the high quality of the legal aid work

Enhance publicity of the Civil Code

1. Prompting staff at legal aid institutions and legal aid lawyers to study the Civil Code

2. Disseminating the Civil Code when offering legal advice on the phone or during face to face meetings or home visits

3. Handing out copies of the Civil Code in schools, rural areas and communities to reinforce people's legal awareness