Shanghai expo needs legal tools
Legal issues are one of the top priorities as Shanghai prepares to host World Expo 2010, said top Expo officials and legal experts.
"Hosting the Expo and improving the legal environment should be two interactive processes," Zhou Hanmin, deputy director-general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Co-ordination, told a forum on legal issues surrounding Expo on Saturday.
Although China has a comprehensive legal system, there are still areas concerning the Expo that are not covered by the existing laws and regulations, he said.
Zhou, who leads the bureau's legal affairs department and a law professor himself, said an event as big as World Expo, will undoubtedly help enhance the legislation in related areas, such as intellectual property rights (IPR) and customs regulation on exhibits.
He stressed that hosting the Expo requires efforts from the whole country, not only Shanghai, so national legislation adjustment and improvement is necessary to ensure a successful Expo.
But he didn't agree with the idea of enacting a comprehensive laws especially for Expo, saying it's neither practical nor necessary.
"During the preparation stage, we should make full use of the existing laws. During the Expo period, there should be particular regulations for Expo, especially on IPR issues," he told reporters at the sideline of the forum.
Shanghai has been lobbying the State Council to enact a regulation on protection of Shanghai Expo's logo and other marks because the existing IPR regulations in China can't provide adequate legal basis to protect Expo-related titles and logos.
The existing regulations also fail to impart sufficient protection to exhibits.
Zhou also said thousands of contracts will be signed, which will also require a lot of legal work, which the bureau will employ various law firms to take care of.
Transparency is also critical for Expo, he added.
"We are now studying a proposal to set up a consultancy body to answer questions on various legal issues concerning Expo for countries and business people that will participate in Shanghai World Expo in 2010," he said.