At present, China does not have a national criminal compensation system. Without such a system in place, blameless victims of violent crimes may not receive compensation when the perpetrator lacks resources to pay fines or damages, despite a court’s conviction.
Some representatives of the National People’s Congress (China’s legislative body) have suggested creating a nationwide system to subsidise victims of crime through a public fund, which would provide compensation in cases where perpetrators are unable to pay fines or damages. However, the suggestion was not adopted due to lack of specific details and discrete alternatives.
Beijing Zhongze Women’s Legal Counselling Service Centre (the “Centre”) is a non-profit based in Beijing that provides legal assistance to help vulnerable women and poor families enforce their rights. The Centre is aware of the increasing number of cases in which victims did not receive compensation due to a lack of resources on behalf of the perpetrator and the absence of a dedicated fund. This results in the denial of much-needed resources to the victim and a failure of the legal system to provide redress for the crime.
With support from international law firm Hogan Lovells and other members of the TrustLaw network, this Comparative Report on National State Compensation Schemes is now available to readers in China and beyond. The report provides comparative analysis of compensation schemes in Australia, Canada (Alberta, Ontario and Quebec), England and Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States (California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas).
This report provides information on the underlying legal framework for the relevant state compensation scheme, conditions and criteria for eligibility, level of compensation, the application process, and the fund from which compensation may be paid.
In addition, this report offers a brief overview of how the state compensation schemes identified are aligned with the existing international and transnational standards and guidelines on victim compensation.