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Courts may rule on forced demolitions

11-25-2010 11:13 BJT

BEIJING, Nov. 25 -- The latest proposal to address the controversy around forced demolitions calls for the court to be the final arbiter of conflicts between local residents, government departments and developers about compensation and expropriation of homes.

Violent clashes between residents and demolition crews are not uncommon, and the issue prompted five legal scholars to suggest an amendment to the existing house expropriation regulation, which was first implemented in 2001.

Authorities have been soliciting input on what should be in the new law since January, and Beijing Times reported Wednesday that the amendment is expected to be released soon.

The existing law gives local government departments the power to decide whether forced demolitions should be carried out. Residents who are frustrated with their decision could turn to the court.

Under the amendment, government departments need to obtain approval from the court before carrying out forced demolitions.

Wang Xixin, one of the five professors, told the Global Times Wednesday that it is not forced demolitions but "abuse of the power of applying forced demolitions" that needs more attention.

The power of government departments will be constrained if courts get involved, Wang said.

However, Hao Guang, an artist in Beijing who was involved in a forced demolition, told the Global Times that he didn't believe the draft alone would solve the whole problem.

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