Since its launch by the Ministry of Justice in May this year, judicial administrative organs and legal aid institutions across China have been actively carrying out the campaign of providing legal aid services for people in difficulties, and have achieved positive outcomes.
Supporting work resumption
In an effort to facilitate business recovery, Beijing's judicial administrators have so far visited 951 distressed enterprises, trying their best to guide small businesses and self-employed people who have suspended their operations or gone bust due to the COVID-19 pandemic in solving their disputes over housing rental and labor issues.
In Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, people impoverished by the COVID-19 pandemic, including workers, small business owners and the self-employed, have been exempt from submitting evidence of their financial status when applying for wage payments, confirmation and dissolution of labor relations, compensation for work-related injuries and housing rentals.
Shanxi province has set up a quick response mechanism to prioritize legal aid applicants from enterprises affected by the pandemic without checking their financial conditions beforehand.
Residents of Shanghai are being instructed to make online legal aid applications, and legal issues arising from the pandemic are being handled through a green channel which draws on means like reconciliation and meditation to resolve disputes as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
Hubei province has launched a targeted legal aid campaign for migrant workers. So far the province's judicial administration has helped 5,098 migrant workers in 4,797 legal aid cases and handled 42 back pay-related cases online.
Fueling poverty relief efforts
Since 2020 is the decisive year of China's battle against poverty, judicial administrative organs and legal aid institutions have also been contributing to the cause by innovating and upgrading legal services for the public.
In Anhui province, poverty-stricken households will be targeted by the government's legal aid campaigns in which legal aid workers, lawyers, and legal advisers will pay home visits to these families and provide them with targeted solutions to their problems.
By sharing information about its registered rural poor population with departments engaged in poverty relief work, Liaoning province has been able to offer legal aid services to over 96 percent of its rural poor households within an hour.
Jilin, Hainan and Henan provinces have also launched various legal aid programs to help their impoverished population shake off poverty.
In Jiangxi province, 7,251 legal aid workers have been working on 8,436 legal issues experienced by 40,951 residents in 13,722 impoverished households across the province.
Judicial administrators in Hunan province have also gone to poor villages to disseminate legal knowledge and handle villagers' demand for legal aid.
In the course of their legal aid campaigns, judicial administrative organs and legal aid administrators across the country have taken various measures to optimize their services.
Guangdong province has provided subsidies to recruit legal aid volunteers from six municipal regions in a bid to reinforce legal support in less developed areas.
To address the regional disparity in legal aid services, Zhejiang province allows legal aid institutions to pick legal aid lawyers from a provincial-level talent pool, effectively satisfying the demand for legal aid in remote areas.
Jiangsu province has diversified its legal aid resources by actively bringing in social organizations. So far, six social legal aid organizations have set up a range of programs which serve as an effective supplement to government-led legal aid services.
To further improve its legal services, Shandong province has adopted video calls to remotely instruct people on how to apply for legal aid.
Tianjin and Hebei province are also actively drawing on their public legal service hotline and the notification-commitment system, respectively, to improve service efficiency and reduce the burdens on applicants.