Passed on Aug 20 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, the law on legal aid attaches importance to the provision of legal services for persons with disabilities, ensures their equal participation in legal affairs, and actively protects their legitimate rights and interests.
Stipulated in Clause 25, the law further secures the right of defense by specific types of disabled people in criminal cases, which expands the scope of the disabled groups qualifying for legal aid.
The law ensures equal rights for the mentally and intellectually disabled in civil legal relations as demonstrated in clauses 31 and 40.
The law provides reasonable convenience for the disabled to obtain legal aid services such as exemptions from verifying financial difficulities as well as providing accessible facilities and services, as shown in clauses 42 and 45, respectively.
The law also authorizes public organizations including federations for the disabled, trade unions, communist youth leagues and women's federations to provide legal aid services in accordance with the law, as shown in Clause 68.