Judicial reform enforces rule of law

By Ren Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, December 4, 2014
Adjust font size:

The Fourth Plenum of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee in October, which vowed to boost the rule of law, laid special emphasis on judicial reform, such as the circuit and trans-provincial courts adopted at Tuesday's top-level meeting on overall reform. The move has come amid growing complaints over loopholes in the country's judicial system that have impaired court fairness and bred corruption.

The move is needed because China's judicial agencies have failed to perform their roles well in the past. There are three main problems that need to be addressed: first, even though the law sets out the independence of courts and procuratorates from local Party and government authorities, they are in the same bureaucratic circle and rely on the authorities in their daily running. As a result, court and procuratorate officials tend to trade their power in hand with local authorities.

On the other hand, leading local officials have for too long been accustomed to issuing orders to courts and procuratorates as if to their subordinates, and put pressure upon disobedient ones. That is an essential reason why citizens have little chance of winning cases against government agencies in administrative proceedings.

Administrative tendency is are another problem with China's judicial agencies. Theoretically, neither a judge nor a prosecutor has any superior and they need obey nothing but the law; but in reality they are all considered State employees, at the command of administrative leaders.

As a result, it is often the judicial committees, headed by administrative officials, that decide the verdicts in legal cases, while all the judge does is to read it aloud in court. The verdict, although signed by him as a professional legal practitioner, might even be against his will. The judge is more like a loudspeaker to express the will of the administrative leaders - and that has left space for corruption.

The third is the ambiguous relations among judicial and public security agencies, which often find their roles mixed in lawsuits. A typical situation is in criminal lawsuits, where the police as a powerful arm of the State try suspects instead of a court acting as a neutral judgment agency. This results in unjust cases.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter