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People's jurors make selection in Beijing

Updated: 2015-08-27 07:36
By Cao Yin (China Daily)

Courts implement nationwide pilot program, choosing 130 candidates from pool of 407

Xu Ting was excited to see her name on a big screen showing a new group of people's jurors and she quickly shared the news with her family on the instant messaging service WeChat.

"I'm happy I was named as a people's juror, and I'm looking forward to serving in court," said Xu, an executive at a Beijing company.

Under Chinese law, people's jurors take part in case hearings, supervise judicial work and give their opinions as courts reach a verdict, in an attempt to ensure justice.

Xu was one of 130 new people's jurors randomly selected from 407 qualified candidates at Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court on Wednesday, and those elected, all nonjudicial workers, are also the first people's jurors in the capital since jury system reform was launched nationwide four months ago.

The reform is an important part of wider-ranging judicial reforms.

In April, the Supreme People's Court selected 50 courts nationwide to take part in a two-year pilot program on the reform. Five of those courts were in Beijing.

"In the past, courts selected people's jurors on their own, but this led to problems," said Sun Chaomei, deputy director of the Beijing Justice Bureau. "Some courts often selected people they were familiar with to be people's jurors, allowing some of them to make use of the 'relationship' to interfere with justice."

To improve the fairness of trials, Sun said it was decided to randomly select people's jurors from residents in the jurisdiction of the intermediate people's court.

The bureau, court and local police first screened the residents, selecting 1,061 who were older than 28, had at least graduated from high school and were law-abiding, according to Sun.

"We contacted them to ask if they were willing to stand, and collected more material, such as from their workplaces, about those who would like to take part in courts' work," he said.

In the first round, 461 people were qualified and their information was later sent to the Beijing Public Security Bureau for review, according to Lu Guihua, president of the intermediate court.

The second round removed those with criminal records, those who refused to enforce court verdicts, and lawyers, Lu said, adding that finally the number of candidates was cut to 407.

All the processes, including selecting the 130 jurors at random on Wednesday, were open to public supervision, he said, adding that the first batch of people's jurors will be given legal training before they take part in hearings.

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