China-EU Access to Justice Programme
China-EU Access to Justice Programme

The China-EU Access to Justice Programme (2013-16) is assisting the Chinese Ministry of Justice in improving effectiveness of legal aid service delivery with a particular focus on outreach to vulnerable groups and to people living in outlying districts. The Chinese counterparts for the programme are the National Legal Aid Centre, run on a national level within the Ministry of Justice and based in Beijing, and Provincial Legal Aid Centres in three provinces: Henan, Inner Mongolia and Shanxi. 

There are three main components to the programme:  

  • Dialogue between European and Chinese experts on law and policy development; 
  • Capacity-building for legal aid service providers; 
  • Introduction of good and promising legal aid practices from Europe or elsewhere in China, through a series of pilot activities to be conducted at selected sites in the three target provinces. 

China-EU Legal Aid High Level Policy Dialogue Conference

The 3rd China-EU Legal Aid High Level Policy Dialogue Conference, with ‘ensuring access to justice for people with special needs’,  was held in Beijing on 1-2 September 2016. Mr. Asad Beg, Minister Counsellor and the Head of Political, Press and Information Section, Delegation of  the European Union to China,  Ms. Bai Ping, Director General of Legal Aid Department from Ministry of Justice attended the opening ceremony and gave speeches. 

The Conference was organized by the British Council (the leading European delivery partner of the project) and the National Legal Aid Centre, Chinese Ministry of Justice.


Ms.  Carma Elliot CMG OBE, Minister (Culture and Education) gave a speech during the reception ©

British Council

More than 90 experts participated in the conference, international participants came from the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Australia, Chinese participants came from Ministry of Justice, China Legal Aid Foundation, Beijing Disabled Association, Beijing Yilian Labour Legal Aid and Research Centre, China University of Political Science and Law , the local judicial department (bureau) and the Legal Aid Department (centre) from 12 provinces of China. 

The conference focused on topics of relevant plans and policies,   best practices,  main challenges  and future development for special needs groups’ protection. Before the conference, international participants also visited a legal aid centre in Xicheng district, Beijing to gain first hand information about the legal aid in China.  

In 2012, the EU Delegation and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce signed a three-year China-EU Access to Justice Programme. The programme was formally launched in September 2013. As a very high profile and important activity, this policy dialogue conference played a proactive role in further enhancing the understanding and friendship between China and Europe, and deepening the exchanges and co-operations in the legal aid field.

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