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Five-year judicial reform guideline underlines independent trial

Updated: 2014-07-10 07:47
( Xinhua)

JINAN - China's top court on Wednesday published a guideline for reforms in the country's court system over the next five years, underlining efforts to ensure independent trial.

The guideline includes 45 major reform measures, which fall into eight key judicial issues such as personnel, finance and judicial selection, according to a document issued by the Supreme People's Court (SPC) at a press conference.

The reform will be focused on efforts to remove some deep-rooted problems affecting the capability and fairness of the country's judicial system, and to ensure the courts exercise their judicial power in a legal, independent and just manner, the document said.

Work to promote the justice, efficiency and authority of the judiciary will also be accelerated, it said.

According to the guideline, judicial selection committees consisting of representatives of judges, organization and personnel departments and the public will be set up at provincial-level courts in a bid to promote professional selection of the bench.

"Previously, China's judicial selection and management system took reference from the public servant management system, which did not suit the profession's characteristics well," said He Xiaorong, head of the SPC judicial reform office.

In addition to professional selection, the candidates' honesty and integrity will also be reviewed and the nominees will be appointed by the legislatures according to legal procedures.

Also, trial judges' right to issue their rulings and opinions independently will be further guaranteed and their judgements will no longer need to be signed by the courts' chief judges, said the guideline.

However, they will also be held responsible for their judgements, it noted.

Moreover, local courts' finances will be put under uniform administration featuring separate management of the courts' spending from the money and property they collect as litigation fees, fines and forfeitures.

The guideline said that to handle some serious or complicated cases, a system will be established to allow superior courts to set up circuit courts, and tribunals with specialized jurisdiction in environment-related cases as well as courts specializing in intellectual property rights trials will also be set up.

The guideline pledged reforms to promote judicial transparency, to strictly enforce the exclusionary rule of illegal evidence and to remove unreasonable elements in the courts' performance assessment system.