Law Daily promoting the “Example of Rule-of-law Practice in Jinshan District”
Jinshan District is the south gate of Shanghai, with a large migrant population. In recent years, with the rapid development of sociaty and economy, contradictions and disputes have become increasingly complicated, and social governance is facing many pain-points and difficulties. However, relying on the construction of “Rule of Law in Jinshan”, Jinshan District has effectively improved its “soil for rule of law”, constantly raised its social governance level, and won a series of honorary titles for many consecutive years, including “A National Advanced District for Safety Construction”, “A National Advanced Unit for the Creation of Rule-of-law Counties (Cities/Districts), “A National Demonstration Unit for Community Detoxification (Rehabilitation) Work”, etc.
Recently, when interviewed by a correspondent from Law Daily, Hu Weiguo, Deputy Secretary of Jinshan District Party Committee and Mayor of Jinshan District, said that, “The first layer of the construction of “Rule of Law in Jinshan” is to focus on the key minority of leading officials, and improve the capacity and self-consciousness of law-based administration, law-based decision-making and law-based enforcement. The second layer is to construct a universally-beneficial public law service system via government-purchased services, bring law professionals closer to people, and create an atmosphere and convenience for conducting business and resolving disputes by law; The third layer is to promote the structural optimization of social governance relying on the power of rule of law, and formulate an efficient work-pattern that adapts itself to the actual situation of Jinshan District.”
“Half a year ago, this park was surrounded by unapproved building projects, however, we have managed to realize steady rectification through the rule of law”, said Sun Yinliang, Party Secretary of Shanyang Town, pointing to the sprouting seedlings and green lawns.
This used to be an area of 4.9 km2 “severely afflicted” by unapproved building projects; it involved a total of 638 rectification sites and a total unapproved building area of 83,500 m2. According to relevant laws and regulations, Shanyang Town organized many parties concerned, finally having managed to complete the rectification without incurring any administrative litigation or massive events.
“The key to this success lies in the law-based decision-making and law-based administration on the part of leading officials”, Sun Yinliang told the correspondent, “and, through purchasing law services from law firms, Shanyang Town took the lead to have established a town-level law affairs office in Shanghai, and worked out its three-year planning for the construction of the rule of law. Currently both officials and common folks are enjoying the bonuses brought about by the construction of the rule of law.”
The construction of “The Rule of Law in Shanyang” is an epitome of the construction of “The Rule of Law in Jinshan”. Since 2015, Jinshan District has been comprehensively promoting its construction of law-based district governance, having successively issued a series of institutional documents, such as the Three-year Action Plan for “The Rule of Law in Jinshan” and the Construction Planning for “The Rule of Law in Jinshan”; it has also established a system of reporting on duty, integrity and law regarding leading officials within district jurisdiction, and introduced the situation of law-study and law application as an important content of work report and annual appraisal for leading officials.
Jinshan District also revised and perfected the Several Regulations of Jinshan District on Appearing in Court and Attending of Court Trials on the Part of Administration Organs in Administrative Litigation, which requires leaders of the district people’s government to appear in court in administrative cases and requires responsible persons of administrative organs to “make their voices heard while appearing in court”. In 2017, the appearance rate in court of chief executives in the whole district reached 60%, ranking the first in Shanghai. Shen Jinlong, member of the Standing Committee of Jinshan District Party Committee and Secretary of the political and judiciary commission, said that, “Leading officials can realize law-based administration and face people with confidence only through voluntary law-study and law application. The key to law-based district governance lies in leading officials, as they are “bellwethers”, and deep tillers of the “soil for rule of law”; only through focusing on this “key minority” and urging them to realize rule-of-law leadership through rule-of-law awareness and rule-of-law thinking can we expect to mobilize people to develop the habit of law-study, law application and acting by law.”
Bring law professionals closer to people
At Ms. Wang’s Mediation Hall in Zhoujiadi Village, Zhangyan Town, villagers are consulting Xu Chunlan, Director of Jinting Law Firm, about some law-related issues.
Before divorce, the son-in-law of Mr. Wu signed a declaration giving up his share of homestead, however, his name remained on the homestead certificate after divorce. According to Xu, because of the semantic vagueness of the prenuptial agreement, the formal divorce agreement signed at the department of civil affairs shall prevail.
“Ms. Wang’s Mediation Hall” is set up in the living room of Wang Pinghuan, a villager here. The hall is displayed with many books about laws, Party building and science popularization, and there are many posters about all kinds of systems on the wall. On the desk there is a pile of cards printed with useful law information, such as the contact telephones and addresses of people’s mediators, law firms, law-aid centers, notary offices, etc. This hall has become a place frequently visited by nearby villagers for law-study and law-aid.
In local dialect, “Di” refers to a row of connected houses. After the implementation of networked management, one natural village has become a “Di”, and each “Di” is set up with one “public law service point”, where villagers can raise law-related questions, seek for law-aid and make an appointment with the village law consultant for intensive consultancy.
There are more than 600 such service points in Jinshan District. They serve as the “nerve endings” of the public law service system. Through purchasing law services, the government designates more than 60 lawyers and grass-root law service workers to these service points on a regular or irregular basis to provide public law services.
According to Lu Caihua, Party Secretary and Chief of Jinshan District Bureau of Justice, “Jinshan District has exerted all strength to build a four-level public law service platform, i.e. district public law service centers as the main body, sub-district (Jinshan Industrial Zone) service stations as battlefields, village (neighborhood) service offices as foundation, and community (homestead) service points as extensions. In this way, it has effectively taken the last step in public law services.”
Besides designating lawyers to participate in village (neighborhood) governance as law consultants, the local government also organizes lawyers to participate in the mediation of civil disputes, the solution to complicated contradictions, the management of village (neighborhood) affairs, the daily reception of complaints and the reception of leader visits, thus building up a “six-participation” mechanism for lawyers.
Shen Jinlong: Considering that law is needed in conducting business, clearing doubts, solving problems and resolving contradictions, it’s very important to mobilize people to develop the habit and self-consciousness of law-study, law application and acting by law, as this constitutes the basis and core of deep-tilling and improving the “soil for the rule of law”. By means of purchasing and relying on third-party services, Jinshan District has assigned law professionals to people, and found a feasible and effective way of realizing this goal.
Prevent and resolve all kinds of contradictions and disputes
In recent years, the rectification plan of “five-illegalities and four-musts” has been going on energetically (“five-illegalities” refers to illegal land use, illegal building, illegal operation, illegal pollution discharge and illegal residence; “four-musts” means: potential safety hazards must be eliminated, illegal and unlicensed buildings must be dismantled, dirty and disorderly phenomena must be rectified, and illegal operation must be banned). In Jinshan District, this action has not only achieved significant results, but also is advancing steadily.
As learnt by the correspondent, Jinshan District has successively issued the Several Regulations on Preventing Leading Officials from Interfering with Comprehensive Environment Law Enforcement, compiled the Compilation of Laws and Regulations on Comprehensive Environmental Renovation, and released the Work-Regulations on the “Separation of Adjudication and Enforcement in Non-contentious Administratively-executed Cases about Environmental Protection, thus offering some law guarantee for the work. Besides, the local government has also mobilized leading officials and law professionals to go to people, and to effectively prevent and resolve all kinds of contradictions and disputes.
According to statistics, in 2017, the number of administrative law enforcement cases at Jinshan District Environmental Protection Bureau saw a year-on-year growth of 33.8%, and the penalty amount witnessed a year-on-year growth of 62.6%. The whole district has established an interim and post-event comprehensive supervision platform, which has currently synchronized 53,000 entries of license information and 24,000 entries of penalty information from various platforms. Since the beginning of this year, Jinshan District Market Supervision Administration has investigated and prosecuted a total of 1,299 illegal cases (1,255 concluded), and rectified 204 unlicensed food operators (accounting for 81.35% of rectification tasks). In the same period, the number of complaint cases has continuously declined.
As remarked by Hu Weiguo, Deputy Secretary of Jinshan District Party Committee and Mayor of Jinshan District: “Through focusing on the application of rule-of-law thinking and rule-of-law approach, Jinshan District has accelerated the realization of various tasks of the construction of government ruled by law. The bonuses of the construction of “Rule of Law in Jinshan” are embodied in the continuous stability and harmony of society, the optimization of regional business environment and the promotion of local economic development. In the future, we will further optimize social governance structure, and strive to build Jinshan District into a district characterized by “the most convenient trade investment, the highest administrative efficiency, the most standardized service management and the most sound rule of law system” in Shanghai.