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Foreigners-related Legal Publicity Well Underway in Changning
07/25/2018 Changning District Information Center

Changning District, an important showcase of Shanghai’s reform and opening-up, boasts of the Hongqiao Economic Development Area, the first international development zone focusing on the service sector established under the approval of the State Council and the Gubei New Area, the first international community in Shanghai. In the past three decades, Changning District has been home to head offices of several transnational corporations and foreign-funded enterprises. Foreign expatriates account for as many as 25% of the residents in the Hongqiao Economic Development Area alone. Heading for the accelerated construction of a public legal service system for foreigners-related residential communities with reinforced publicity, Hongqiao-based Changning District gears the expats’ needs to the streamlined legal service, thus gradually fostering a unique working pattern of foreigners-related legal service.

Team Building for Professional Foreigners-related Legal Service System

In Changning District, experienced lawyers good at foreign languages are hired as legal advisers for residents in foreign-related residential communities. The legal services offered to foreign expats by these lawyers offer includes mediation of disputes and legal consulting. The expats can have easy access to all of these free services in the community. Changning District aims to rationalize a training mechanism for foreigners-related legal services, whereby lawyers will be briefed on the legal systems, the rules of law, dispute-solving mechanisms and the current situation of mediation of disputes in various countries. All this helps to provide the expats with more professional and delicate legal services.

Expats-oriented Brochures Distributed for Legal Publicity

Changning learns from its survey that entrance registration, lodging registration, employment, school attendance and paying tax are among the most urgent needs of foreign residents on legal services. The district government purchased service from NGO and compiled a brochure with NGO, a Shanghai-based law research and legal service center. Written in four languages, i.e., Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean, the brochure addresses questions of law frequently asked by expats, tips foreign expats on the observance of Chinese laws and regulations, and briefs them on fast access to legal services, thus achieved desire effect in legal publicity. Expats spoke highly of the brochure, which was snatched up in just two weeks after its distribution in 32 residential communities.

Elite Projects Launched for Legal Publicity Lectures

In line with high standards, Changning District gives priority to the construction of urban climate of law by running legal publicity lectures for expats to enhance their consciousness of law and cultivate their legal thinking. Changning District has offered lectures to overseas enterprises to help them understand the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Activities of Overseas Non-governmental Organizations in the Mainland of China” and encourage mutual exchange. In foreigners-related residential communities, face-to-face dialogues were held between lawyers, property management companies and enterprise owners. The various issues and topics discussed on these lectures ranged from disputes frequently seen in foreigners-related communities involving in apartment lease, to water leakage in apartment buildings and parking lot management. Lawyers offered advice and professional support to the management of foreigners-related communities. The district has renewed its effort in foreigners-related governance in neighborhood committees with communication and consultation on foreigners-related law issues via legal publicity lectures. Moreover, good cases of governance in foreigners-related residential communities have been introduced to other residential communities so as to encourage them to learn from each other for a new atmosphere of foreigners-related legal service.

Operation Streamlined to Improve Diversified Mechanism of Participation

Hongqiao Area was selected by Changning District as a pilot area for establishing a joint service mechanism between legal advisers and government departments, including immigration, market administration, public security and civil affairs. A legal service station was established in Gubei Citizens Center to access the expats to convenient and professional legal services. Changning District has also established a joint working mechanism between three parties: the district’s law office, as the coordinator, foreign expatriates, as the volunteer, and community police officers good at foreign languages, as the coordinator. All this contributes to a higher success rate of foreigners-related legal services and a wider public acclaim.

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