Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Here's a piece from Caijing's English edition on recent developments in the tainted milk scandal. Although the central government has issued a directive saying that treatment for affected babies should be free, the directive has not been accompanied by any specific measures to make it effective. Thus, parents in many cases are still having to pay for treatment, and if they can't afford it, treatment won't be provided. At the same time that it has ineffectively promised aid, the central government seems to have effectively preented parents from seeking aid themselves through the legal system: no court anywhere in the country has yet accepted a lawsuit in this matter, with some saying they have been told to wait for instructions. No courts to my knowledge have indicated that they rejected the lawsuits because of some legal infirmity in the claims.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
In October I posted here about an administrative lawsuit brought against the Ministry of Education Foreign Study Service Center (教育部留学服务中心), a body that for the last 17 years has been certifying foreign degrees and has been the only body recognized by government agencies to have the power to do so.
The Haidian (Beijing) Basic-Level People's Court has now (Nov. 28, 2008) ruled against the plaintiff on the grounds that the Center is not a government-authorized body and that its acts therefore do not constitute administrative acts. The plaintiff plans to appeal.
I wonder if it might have been, or might still be, possible for the plaintiff to bring an action at the same time against a government body that was giving preclusive effect to the Center's certification (or lack of it). If the Center is indeed an unofficial organization, perhaps an argument can be made that government authorities cannot delegate their decision-making power to it in this way. And if both the Center and another government body are in the suit together, the court's decision in favor of one will necessarily be a decision against the other. Or perhaps the plaintiff should simply have brought a suit against the government agency that was giving preclusive effect to the Center's findings (in this case, the agency that refused to let him take the public service examination). This is the agency that is really making the decision that counts. That they are relying on the Center need be no more legally relevant than if they were relying on an astrologer; in either case, they have to defend the integrity of the decision-making process upon which they rely, wherever it is located, and can't defend simply by saying that somebody else made the decision.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The Chinese government has submitted its state-party report to the UN Human Rights Council in preparation for the upcoming review of China before the Council. This is part of the Universal Periodic Review system under which every state is reviewed.
HT: Nicholas Bequelin.