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Beijing courts announce major changes
( 2003-09-02 07:12) (China Daily)

Local courts in Beijing will compensate criminal suspects, who are held in custody and then found not guilty, through a more simplified procedure to guarantee citizens' legal rights, the Beijing High People's Court has announced.

Starting from September 1, suspects who are deemed to be innocent, reversing the judgement of first instance, can directly ask the original court for compensation.

In the past, a special organization under the courts had to undertake a series of investigations to confirm whether or not a suspect deserved remuneration.

"Thus it needs less time now for those people that have been under mistaken detention to achieve State compensation," Chi Qiang, vice-president of the Beijing High People's Court, told a press conference Monday, where a total of 50 measures to better serve the public and guarantee efficiency as well as justice were revealed.

Meanwhile, also from Monday, residents in need of help will be able to find it at various courts in the capital.

Senior citizens, minors, disabled people, laid-off workers and migrant workers who are living in poverty will not have to pay court fees when claiming the recovery of maintenance expenses. Disabled people, senior citizens and pregnant women will also be given priority when applying to have a case placed on file.

Previously, the Beijing Fengtai District People's Court had established a special group to look after blind, deaf and mute plaintiffs.

"We never dodge residents' dissatisfaction with our court work,'' Chi said.

He said local courts will do their utmost to guarantee the legal rights of residents.

The high, intermediate and district levels of courts in Beijing have received over 1,300 complaints and suggestions from residents since the beginning of the year through the holding symposiums, interviews and investigations.

The measures adopted by Beijing's local courts are in response to 23 measures recently issued by the Supreme People's Court to improve efficiency and better serve the public.

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