legal aid?

February 19th, 2008

So I opened up The Beijing News/新京报 as part of my continued efforts to get more real-world exposure to written Chinese (beyond menus and road signs, of course), and the first headline that grabs my attention is this:


Beijing will establish a judicial aid fund.

Yeah, I know, perhaps that should be “legal aid”, but let’s read the article first, and find out. It’s subtitled:


Petitioners’ cases will fall within the range of aid, Beijing High Court is researching the aid fund and providing a standard and scope.

I went with “petitioners’ cases” for 信访案件, because it seems that 信访 (literally ‘letters and visits’) refers to the traditional, established system of petitioning to a higher level of government when one has a beef with the local officials.

The article is by TBN’s own 王殿学/Wang Dianxue.


The meeting  of Court Presidents of Beijing convened yesterday morning revealed that the Beijing Municipal High Court will establish a legal aid fund so as to expand the scope of legal aid and the scope of aid to petitioners’ cases. Litigants from difficult financial circumstances will also receive aid.

Alright, so I decided to run with “legal aid” instead of “judicial aid”. And I inserted “financial” into that last sentence to prevent any confusion over how “difficult” could be interpreted in English.


The scope of legal aid will be expanded


 The president of Beijing Municipal High Court, Chi Qiang, said the legal aid fund would be established to resolve some parties’ economic difficulties. Aid would be extended to some people who petition often and parties from difficult financial circumstances.


Vice-secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee and secretary of the Municipal Legal Committee Wang Anshun, who took part in the meeting, stated, legal aid would be provided to parties facing the greatest economic limitations and difficulties, and the work of establishing the fund specialising in legal aid would be done well. Chi Qiang said the Beijing Municipal High Court is starting to research the provision of a standard and scope for the legal aid fund and the scope of legal aid would be expanded further.


According to a worker of the Beijing High Court, the legal aid system will allow parties to the court to postpone, reduce or exempt the costs of lawsuits, reducing the financial burdens of parties in difficulty and protecting their ability to take part in the system of normal lawsuits.


Going all out for a safe and sound Olympics this year

[yeah, I know, big liberties taken with that heading]


Vice-secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee and secretary of the Municipal Legal Committee Wang Anshun said the central responsibility of political and legal work in the capital this year was striving to implement the goal of a safe and sound Olympics.

北京高院院长池强表示,北京法院将明确各类涉奥纠纷的受理意见、相关工作要求,确保立案标准统一;建立健全奥运期 间立案工作机制,进一步强化案件请示汇报制度、信息通报制度,确保奥运期间重点纠纷立案审查信息渠道畅通;加强与奥组委等有关部门的沟通协调,确保涉奥案 件稳妥及时处理。

President of the Beijing High Court Chi Qiang said the Beijing courts would unify the acceptance of ideas for clarifying every kind of dispute related to the Olympics and related work requirements and the guaranteeing of standards for filing cases; establish robust work mechanisms for filing cases during the Olympics, further strengthen instructions on reporting systems for cases and information reporting systems, guarantee the unclogging of channels for investigating cases filed that involve key Olympic disputes; strengthen the communication and coordination with the Olympic Committee and other related departments and guarantee the reliable and timely handling of cases connected with the Olympics.

No, I don’t know why that second section was tacked on or what the official waffling  has to do with the establishment of a legal aid fund.

Anyway, constructive criticism of my translation is, as always, most welcome. I’m sure I’ve stuffed something up big time, especially that officialese.

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