April 28, 2005

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Rule of Law or Lack Thereof

In a move to advance the rule of law in mainland China, authorities are reforming jury trials (via Horses Mouth).

BEIJING, (AFP) - Around 27,000 jurors will report for duty in China next week, state media said, as the country introduces jury trials in an attempt to reform a system widely criticised for its lack of independence.


Under the current system, judges are the sole arbiters in court cases but they have been widely criticised by the public for lack of independence from the government and the Communist Party.

The legal system is also riddled with corruption.

While China already has jurors, they are largely hand-picked by a court or approved by court officials after they received recommendations from local authorities.

Lack of jury trials is an issue that has historical causes: trial by judge has been the historical norm in China for millennia. A related legal phenomenon unique to China is the petition system. But while such a system has obviously served China sufficiently for millennia, it is apparent that they are not adequate in keeping up with social and technological changes in the past century. Attempts at legal reform are therefore at least a bit encouraging.

On the other hand, in a move that probably preserves stability, but at the expense of the rule of law, the NPC Standing Committee has given its rubber stamp approval of the two-year interpretation of the HKSAR CE term length.

posted by Kelvin on 04.28.05 at 01:25 AM in the Blogging category.


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The Needs for Legal Reform
Excerpt: "China prepares for first-ever jury trials," AFP, 25 April 2005, ( from The Horse's Mouth through Simon World). China is introducing real trial by jury... Around 27,000 jurors will report for duty in China next week, state media said, as the coun...
Weblog: tdaxp
Tracked: April 28, 2005 04:35 AM


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