Good Sa­mar­i­tans to be pro­tected by law

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­

Good Sa­mar­i­tans shall not be li­able for dam­ages caused to those be­ing helped dur­ing emer­gency res­cue ef­forts, the top leg­is­la­ture said.

The lat­est draft of the Gen­eral Rules of Civil Law, which was sub­mit­ted to the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress for a third read­ing on Mon­day, added the clause, which is aimed at in­spir­ing the pub­lic to be more morally con­scious and states that good Sa­mar­i­tans should not bear civil re­spon­si­bil­ity for dam­ages to those be­ing helped, ex­cept in cases of gross neg­li­gence.

Wang Lei, an as­so­ciate law pro­fes­sor at China Youth Uni­ver­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Stud­ies, said: “The ex­tra clause is to pro­tect the civil rights of good Sa­mar­i­tans, re­duc­ing con­cerns about whether emer­gency ac­tions may cause dam­ages to oth­ers.”

But the draft did not clar­ify which sit­u­a­tions are defined as gross neg­li­gence.

Wang said that the cur­rent draft is an im­por­tant step to help courts deal with such dis­putes, “but the added clause does not mean good Sa­mar­i­tans can be ex­empted from all and any dam­age they bring to those be­ing helped”.

The draft of the Gen­eral Rules of Civil Law also in­cludes ex­tra clauses to pro­tect civil rights.

The draft stip­u­lates that civil sub­jects can ex­er­cise their rights ac­cord­ing to their own will and with­out in­ter­fer­ence.

Af­ter the levy­ing and req­ui­si­tion of real es­tate and per­sonal prop­erty, in the pub­lic in­ter­est, civil sub­jects should be justly and ap­pro­pri­ately com­pen­sated, ac­cord­ing to the draft.

In ad­di­tion, the draft stip­u­lates that civil af­fairs de­part­ments and neigh­bor­hood or vil­lage com­mit­tees should as­sume guardian­ship if no one is qual­i­fied to do so.

Xinhua con­trib­uted to this story.

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