Guiding Opinions on Improving Legal Aid Subsidy Standards

by China Law Translate | 2019/03/07 10:03 PM

Promulgation Date: 2019-2-15
Title: Guiding Opinions on Improving Legal Aid Subsidy Standards
Document Number:司发通〔2019〕27号
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance
Source of text:

The following Opinions on improving legal aid subsidy standards is hereby released so as to deepen implementation of the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, and and its second and third plenary sessions; to implement the spirit of the CPC Central Committee General Office and General Office of the State Council's "Opinions on Improving the Legal Aid System" (ZhongBanFa[2015]No.37) , to guide reasonable local determinations and prompt adjustments of standards for legal aid subsidies, mobilizing the enthusiasm of society's lawyers and other personnel taking on legal aid, and to better meet the public demand for legal aid.

I. Legal aid subsidies refers to fees paid by legal aid institutions to the units of societal lawyers, basic level legal services workers, social organization personnel, and other persons taking on legal aid matters (not including staff of legal aid institutions, as well as basic level legal services workers or social organization personnel that have the status of public officials).

II. Legal aid subsidy standards are an important basis for setting legal aid fees, determined by each provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality people's government's judicial administrative departments in conjunction with the departments of finance at the same level, or authorized municipal or county Level people's governments judicial administrative departments in conjunction with the finance departments at the same level, reflecting the regions economic and social development level, and on the basis of factors such as expenses directly involved in undertaking the legal aid matters and basic labor costs.

III. Based on the different forms of legal aid services, case-handling standards, duty lawyer legal assistance standards, and legal consultation standards may be separately formulated.

Distinguishing between different forms of service, determine direct expenses on the basis of factors such as the actual travel costs, postal costs, printing costs, costs for investigation and collection of evidence, translation costs, notary costs, evaluation costs, and so forth incurred in the course of services. The transportation and accommodation costs included in travel costs are to be calculated with reference to the standards related to Party and government organ travel. Postal costs, printing costs, costs for investigation and collection of evidence, and so forth are to be determined in light of the actual local circumstances. Translation costs, notary costs, and evaluation costs are to be arranged after verification by the legal aid institutions.

Basic labor costs are to be determined based on factors such as the average daily wages, and the number of days of service. Of these, average daily wages references the average annual wage of local employees in the position for the previous year divided by the number of working days or a set coefficient.

IV. Standards for case-handling subsidies refers to the subsidy standards for handling civil, criminal, or administrative representation, or criminal defense in legal aid cases.

Civil, criminal, and administrative legal aid cases are calculated cases by case, with one matter for representation or defense being one case, and on the basis of the average number of days spent undertaking similar legal aid cases. Where different stages of legal procedure are addressed in the same matter, each stage is counted as a case. Where there are 2 or more people receiving aid in the same case, increase the subsidy appropriately from the basic case subsidy standard.

V. The subsidy standard for duty lawyers' legal assistance refers to the standard subsidy for duty lawyers posted by legal aid institutions at people's courts, people's procuratorates, or detention centers providing legal advice, transfer of applications for legal aid, and other legal assistance criminal suspects or criminal defendants who do not have a defender, and is to be calculated on a daily basis.

The subsidy standards for duty lawyers provided legal assistance to criminal suspects or defendants in plea leniency cases are to be set by each area in accordance with actual conditions or calculated based on work days.

VI. Subsidy standards for legal advice refers to subsidy standards for providing advice in receiving visitors, answering phone calls, and responding to queries online, calculated based on work days.

VII. Local legal aid provisions and rules on subsidy standards for other forms of service in legal aid matters are to be determined by each area based on their actual conditions and with reference to the measures above.

VIII. Establish and complete mechanisms for dynamically adjusting legal aid subsidy standards. When there is a larger change in legal aid matters' direct expenses, basic labor costs, and so forth, legal aid subsidy standards shall be promptly adjusted.

IX. Gradually promote different subsidies linking service quality with subsidies. With each subsidy standard as a norm, legal aid institutions may make increases or decreases at set rates or designate different levels of subsidy based on service quality, to promote increasing service quality.

X. All levels of people's government's judicial administration departments and finance departments should strictly implement the region's legal aid subsidy standards, ensure that policy measures for ensuring relevant fees are implemented correctly, urging legal aid institutions to strictly follow the provided standards to promptly pay the specified amounts without withholdings, and promote the healthy development of the legal aid field.

XI. Establish mechanisms for information disclosure and oversight. Each region should promptly disclose the legal aid subsidy standards, clear channels for complaints and making reports, and actively accept public oversight.



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