Hainan gets legal adviser to help government
The government in South China's Hainan Province will turn to its new chief legal adviser for help before making every decision, the People's Daily said yesterday.
Xu Qianfei, who is currently serving as director of the Legislative Affairs Office in Hainan, has been appointed as the new chief legal adviser. He has more than 17 years' experience working in the country's legal organizations, the newspaper said.
It is the first time for governments at provincial level to involve an adviser in decision-making, the newspaper noted.
Liu Dengshan, vice-director of the Legislative Affairs Office of Hainan Province, said in the newspaper that "local governments seldom ask for advice from legal experts in policy-making in the first place.
"Only when they have a legal problem will they resort to legal advice. Hainan's move is a step forward for better, law-based administration."
In line with a new rule regulating the work of the chief legal adviser passed on March 22, Xu will be responsible for eight sectors, including providing professional suggestions for the provincial government's decision-making, dealing with civil, economic and administrative lawsuits, and arbitrating on behalf of the government. He will also participate in and co-ordinate negotiations over trade, investment and other contracts the government is involved in.
"Being appointed chief legal adviser reinforces my legal responsibility to the government," Xu told Hainan Special Zone News.
He said he will be supported by more than 40 lawyers employed by the government. "Legal consultation can help avoid mistakes in decision-making, thus reducing the damage to the public. And legal advice will ward off risks involved with governmental investment," Xu said in the local newspaper.
"But what I just provide is legal advice, I cannot replace the government in making decisions. The government will take other factors into consideration in order to make its final decision," Xu also said.
(China Daily 04/19/2005 page3)