Top Judge, Prosecutor Pledge Better Judicial Services

China's top judge and top prosecutor have pledged to fight against corruption in the judicial system and improve the services of the country's court and procuratorial systems.

Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court and Han Zhubin, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate made the commitment in separate working reports to the ongoing annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Xiao admitted that "the Supreme People's Court assumes the responsibility of inadequate supervision and guidance" for problems in the court system and said that "people's courts at all levels are taking all measures to solve the problems".

Procurator-General Han Zhubin said the Supreme People's Procuratorate assumes "leadership responsibility" for problems in the procuratorial system and promised "we will strive to improve our work to solve the problems gradually, and promote a continuous development of the procuratorial system".

The reports acknowledged that the political and professional quality of some judicial staff is not high; that some of them regard themselves as of a privileged class and have a rude working style; that some others are not strictly observing the law in law enforcement, and that there are still others who have abused their power for personal gains.

All this has seriously damaged the reputation of people's courts and procuratorates, the reports said.

In his report, chief judge Xiao Yang admitted that the higher courts have not done enough to help local courts resist local and departmental protectionism, leading to a spread of protectionism and a rise of violence against law enforcement agencies that have made enforcement of court verdicts a chronic issue.

Xiao blamed the personnel system for the situation, saying that the system has made it possible for unqualified persons to become judges and prosecutors, and prevented incompetent persons from being kicked out.

To solve the problems, Xiao said it has been decided that " fairness and efficiency will take center stage in the work of people's courts in the new century."

He pledged that the court system will strengthen its verdict enforcement and set up a more efficient mechanism for enforcement.

Xiao said that reform of the court system will be further advanced, that the collegial bench system improved, that the people's jury system reformed and that the form of court trial further reformed to make court trial simpler and more efficient.

The chief judge said a strict examination system will be resolutely enforced in the recruitment of judges and court policemen, in a bid to improve the personnel quality of the court system.

Procuratorate-General Han Zhubin said in his report that procuratorates at all levels will have strengthened supervision and fair law enforcement as their foremost goal in the work of this year.

Efforts will focus on the maintenance of social stability, punishment and prevention of functionary crimes and strengthening supervision over proceedings, he said.

Procuratorates will strictly enforce anti-corruption provisions banning spouses and children of procurators from opening lawyers' offices in areas under their jurisdiction and being agents and counsels in cases dealt by the procuratorates.

The procuratorial system will embark on an intensive housecleaning campaign, in which "all the black sheep will be kicked out (of the procuratorates) ruthlessly", the procurator-general promised.

(Xinhua 03/10/2001)