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Regulation targets judicial meddling

Updated: 2015-03-31 07:49
(China Daily / Xinhua)

Latest measure will help authorities ensure independence and credibility of legal system

Chinese officials who meddle in judicial cases will soon find their names on a blacklist that leads to internal punishments or legal consequences, according to a new regulation.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee and State Council published a host of measures on Monday to record all officials who interfere in judicial cases and to publicly name violators to hold them accountable in the latest effort to ensure judicial independence and transparency.

The regulation stipulates that judicial personnel should faithfully record the whole process, no matter who is involved.

Violations include interceding for litigants, asking personnel handling cases to meet with litigants or their defenders privately, or overstepping their authority to make suggestions or directions on handling cases by means of hearing reports, holding coordination meetings or issuing circulars.

Officials who retaliate against judicial personnel or whose interference influences a case or creates further problems will receive disciplinary penalties or criminal investigation if their behavior constitutes a crime.

Judicial personnel who fail to record the interference will also receive disciplinary punishment.

The rules are part of a broader legal reform package adopted by the CPC Central Committee in October to advance the rule of law.

The rules are deemed pertinent to steering Party and officials clear of judicial investigations and trials. Officials around the country have been criticized for meddling in cases, which greatly impairs judicial credibility.

"Judiciary authorities' independent execution of their jurisdiction is an important pillar of justice. However, the public has raised concerns over some officials' interference in judicial activities," said Li Shaoping, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court.

The phenomenon is caused by loopholes in the legal system as well as poor awareness of the rule of law in the mind of some officials, he said.

Li Dajin, a lawyer at the East and Concord Partners law firm in Beijing, said the measures will make officials who want to influence the result of judgment consider the consequences they will face.

Tang Weijian, a law professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said the central government needs to make more specific rules to make sure the regulation will be fully implemented.

Wang Cheng, a law professor at Peking University, echoed Tang's suggestion, saying that one regulation cannot solve all problems.

"There is still a lot of work that the central government needs to do to ensure independent jurisdiction of prosecutors and judges," he said.

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