People taking lessons in law for better justice in China

Thursday, February 17, 2011

BEIJING - Residents in China’s Shanghai city are enabling themselves — through legal lectures and counselling — to get just compensation from developers who expropriate their land and force them to move.

Organised by the Shanghai Tianyi Law Firm and Real Estate Times, the lectures are given in two sessions, Xinhua quoted China Daily as stating Thursday.

The first session is an hour-long presentation. In this, lawyers deliberate about legal matters relevant to land expropriation and relocation, such as the new regulations governing both the relocation of private citizens, and the division of the compensation that developers pay to family members.

The second session, also lasting an hour, consists of face-to-face counselling sessions. In this, attention is paid on particular cases.

The topics discussed are always subjects of controversy, said Zhang Shanmei, director of the law firm.

Since 2010, over 1,000 Shanghai residents, who seek to protect their interests in forced relocations, have attended such events.

Most of the cases either concern questions over compensation paid to residents who have been forced to move or about the best approach to divide such compensation money among members of a family, Zhang said.

The lectures are meant to help residents understand new regulations governing relocations, demolitions and land expropriations, while reducing the chances of conflicts breaking out among the parties involved, said Chen Yunfang, coordinator of the lecture.

According to the municipality’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), about 180,000 households are scheduled to be moved from 2011 to 2015 as a result of renovation projects that will affect over 3.5 million square metres in Shanghai.

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