“Moral questions aren’t well suited for reliance on the legal system.” With the opening of the Two Sessions close at hand, National People’s Congress Representative and Dean of Chongqing University Law School, Chen Zhonglin’s, comments include one disapproving of the idea of creating new legislation to fight domestic violence.
Yesterday afternoon, the Chongqing Morning Post interviewed Chen Zhonglin after the close of Chongqing Net’s microblog (weibo) forum on the two sessions.
“Law is for the protection of the most basic social morality; don’t hurt people, don’t do bad things, these are a few widely recognized basic morals.” Chen Zhonglin said that as of today a number of provinces and municipalities have put out ‘good samaritan’ laws, a few places have made it against the law to not help those in desperate need, and this is actually just making a legislating morality.
Chen Zhonglin told us of a specific case. Not long ago, he attended a symposium on legislation addressing domestic violence. One of the main points was creating new legislation to control domestic violence. “There were a lot of people, including me, who voiced their disagreement.”Chen Zhonglin stated two reasons for disagreeing: First, the current laws and regulations already contain clear rules on domestic violence such as abusing a family member; Second, can matters between family members, like when a couple is fighting and the husband slaps his wife in a moment of anger, be resolved through the law? Only if you don’t want this family intact. Chen Zhonglin said that in relationships between family members, tolerance, forgiveness, support are more important and necessary for creating a family.
Domestic violence prevention legislation has already been entered into the this year’s work plan.
Domestic violence prevention legislation has already been incorporated into this year’s legislative work plan. This information revealed on the 27th, when the All-China Women’s Federation （ACWF） opened a forum on the prevention of domestic violence, by someone affiliated with the NPC legal-working committee.
On the 27th, the All-China Women’s Federation released statistics from the third survey of women’s status in Chinese society. In the course of their marriage, 24.7% of married women have suffered some form of domestic violence. The ACWF department of rights and interests indicated that 86% of respondents felt that domestic violence was illegal behavior, and a large majority supported special domestic violence legislation. Wang Shizhou, a professor of criminal law at Beijing University who has long been interested in domestic violence legislation, said that anti domestic violence legislation already has a quite solid intellectual and social foundation and it should be fairly easy to put into place quickly.
Our reporters learned from the NPC’s official website that the legal working committee’s director of planning, Wu Gaosheng, and 6 colleagues have already begun investigation and argumentation on domestic violence legislation.
Beginning in 2008, the ACWF has continued for 5 years in providing input to the NPC , to formulate a comprehensive social domestic violence law including prevention, control, assistance, education and corrective methods. But, over the years, these efforts have always bumped up against the obstacle of traditional social thoughts such as ‘domestic violence is a private family matter’ and progressed slowly.
Against this background where the national domestic violence legislation has been forever delayed and never forthcoming, Hunan and 28 other provinces or municipalities have put forth their own specialized domestic violence regulations or official policies.