Legal Activist Fosters Public Interest In China Courts

From The National:

The importance of obtaining a receipt after buying a meal on a train, in the greater scheme of legal issues in China, may be difficult for most people to comprehend. But for Hao Jinsong, a public interest legal activist, this small piece of paper can have a major effect on the promotion of the rule of law in China.

When Mr Hao forced China’s ministry of railways to provide train passengers with receipts for purchases of food and other items while riding China’s rails – often worth less than US$1 (Dh3.67) – the effect was big. By challenging government branches in the courts – he is the first to succeed – Mr Hao is proving to the Chinese people that they can have their day in court.

“The ministry of railways is a huge bureaucracy, and so if you can beat it in court, then it will give the public tremendous confidence in the law,” said the 35-year-old lawyer. “People saw this and said, ‘ is just one person, but he defeated a huge bureaucracy’. They gained a new understanding of the law, which they previously thought was useless.”

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