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Demolition law review

CITY legislators are reviewing a draft of a revised law on the demolition of illegal constructions to better protect people's property.

It requires a court warrant instead of just a government decision when workers need to go indoors to demolish an illegal construction.

Courts are in a better position to order such demolitions, said Huang Rong, a local construction authority official.

The new requirement is intended to better protect people's privacy and possessions. The revised regulations clearly state for the first time that private property within an illegal building should be strictly protected. The new law can be expected to ensure more civilized and fair law enforcement in demolition cases, Huang said.

The revised draft says a notice must be issued to the owners of an illegal structure at least 10 days in advance of demolition. Owners will have the right to appeal and should be given time to gather evidence in their defence.

It also defines illegal constructions as those built in public areas without a license granted by construction administration, something not made clear in the current regulation.

The current regulation enacted in 1999 led to a citywide clampdown against illegal construction. Extensions to private houses and stores built on the street were two of the most common forms of illegal construction work the government targeted for demolition.


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