Stamping out corruption among judges

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"Favors and relationships are the main reasons," said Hong Daode, a law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law.

"We can safely say that paying close attention to interference from relationships is the key to preventing judicial corruption."

Qian Jun, a Beijing-based lawyer, said the impact of the new rules may be felt more strongly in some communities than others.

"The new regulations, I think, will be more useful in smaller cities than in big ones," Qian said. "In small towns, with smaller populations, it is easier to have judicial collusions."

However, Qian said the regulations are not as necessary in metropolises where there is less potential for such conflicts of interest involving judges.

"Therefore, the regulations might still need further refinement," he said, noting that different rules could be applied in different judicial situations.

According to Hong, implementing regulations already on the books is also important.

"In addition, punishments for judges who are found to be responsible in such cases should be more severe, or else we will not be able to root out this thorny problem," he said.

The SPC has not yet determined what punishments will be available for judges found breaking the new regulations.

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