A senior prosecutor pledged on Monday that China's Supreme People's Procuratorate will incorporate the World Trade Organization (WTO)'s principles of openness, integrity and transparency into its new judicial interpretations.
Vice-Procurator-General Zhang Qiong told a Beijing press conference that the drafting of new judicial interpretations will focus on economic crimes such as financial fraud, violations of intellectual property rights and crimes in the futures markets.
"We expect economic crime with new features to increase after China's WTO entry," said Zhang.
The crime of corruption will also take on new features and this will require new judicial interpretations, according to Zhang.
"Officials and companies are collaborating to commit crime more and more often," said Zhang.
"It will become increasingly common for employees of foreign enterprises and State-owned companies to join together to obtain State-owned assets by fraud."
Zhang said that new judicial interpretations from the Supreme People's Procuratorate will also target the gangland crime and terrorism, which are on the rise.
Once drafted, the new judicial interpretations will be published so that the Chinese and foreign parties alike will have access to them.
Official statistics indicate that the Supreme People's Procuratorate has already sifted through 781 existing judicial interpretations and regulations. Of these, 140 have been abolished because it was believed that they contradicted WTO principles.
"With the development of China's opening-up and reform efforts and the progress in its legal system, many judicial interpretations we issued in the past are now out of date," said Zhang. "This has become a particularly acute issue since China joined the WTO."
Under Chinese law, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Supreme People's Court are both authorized to make judicial interpretations of existing laws.
The Supreme People's Court, meanwhile, has already worked through more than 1,200 judicial interpretations to make sure that none conflict with WTO principles, according to official figures.
(China Daily February 26, 2002)