China issues judicial rule for government transparency

August 13th, 2011 - 5:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 13 (IANS) China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has issued a regulation to standardise trial procedures for the country’s increasing number of government information disclosure cases in a bid to promote governmental transparency.

The regulation, which was issued on Friday and published in Saturday’s edition of the People’s Court Daily, confirmed that citizens may file lawsuits against their local governments if their requests for information disclosures are rejected or if they do not receive a response from the government before a specified deadline.

The regulation specified cases that the courts should accept, including governments’ denial or delay of information disclosures upon public request, reported Xinhua.

Under the new rules, citizens are also entitled to bring lawsuits if their local governments fail to respond to disclosure requests, even if they do not have a direct stake in the disclosure.

If the government is required to publicise information on its own initiative but fails to do so, citizens may first ask the government to disclose the information and sue the government if their prior requests are refused, it said.

In some cases, the courts can include an order of disclosure in their sentences, which can help to solve disputes in a more timely fashion.

China issued a regulation regarding the disclosure of government information in May 2008, ensuring public access to administrative and regulatory information.

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