China's WTO Entry
Judges Subject to New Conduct Code

The Supreme People's Court of China has issued a list of professional ethics for judges to adhere to, in a bid to strengthen the courts' discipline and to improve judicial justice.

The supreme court has ordered courts at all levels across China to improve judges' self-discipline and efficiency in accordance with the Chinese Judges' Professional Ethics Principles.

The newly issued principles contain six basic codes of conduct for judges, including judicial justice improvement, working efficiency acceleration, honesty, judicial management and self-improvement.

"Justice and efficiency are the lifeline of the judicial system,'' Cao Jianming, vice-president of the China Supreme People's Court, told a press conference Thursday.

"A healthy judicial system is predicated on the contingent of honest, upright and professional judges,'' Cao said.

To improve the judicial system and justice, the principles were issued to urge judges to strictly abide by the withdrawal system.

Judges are not allowed to have any contact with parties involved in a lawsuit, one rule states.

In light of the fair and equal principle, judges do not have the right to voice personal opinions on a lawsuit until a judgment has been made.

Since the independent judicial right of judges cannot be violated, judges do not have the right to query lawsuit procedures and related information of other cases, according to the principles.

Good judicial manners will help improve the image of judicial departments and will better serve the people. Any discriminating language is banned from the court, the principles say.

The new rules were issued after more than a year of investigation, with ideas borrowed from related rules in the some foreign countries, according to Cao.

All courts across the country are being urged to provide professional ethics training to judges and law enforcement specialists.

Some residents have complained about judges being corrupt in recent years.

It is hoped that the new rules will help improve the Chinese judicial system to meet with international standards and to face the challenges of the country's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) when more lawsuits involving foreign parties will probably emerge.

(China Daily October 19, 2001)


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