China's Communist Party yesterday unveiled legal reforms aimed at giving judges more independence and limiting officials’ influence over courts at the end of its first ever plenum focusing on the rule of law.
A communique released at the end of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in Beijing hailed justice as the “lifeline” of the rule of law.
It also pledged support for ruling the country in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
The document provides a guiding policy framework for the government in the upcoming year, which will draw up detailed measures to execute its content.
“People’s rights and interests must depend on the guarantees of the law. Legal authority depends on the people to uphold it,” the communique said.
The plenum also said it will assess cadres based on their “compliance with the law.”
The four-day meeting was attended by the roughly 370-member CPC Central Committee. This year was the first time the Party made “governing the country by law” the focus of a plenum.
China will establish a system in which officials will be given demerits or held accountable if they are found interfering in judicial cases, the communique said, adding that officials will also be criticized in public notices if they influence judicial activities or meddle in cases.
Judicial injustice can inflict “lethal damage” to social justice, the document said.
China will improve the system in which judicial powers are exercised and strengthen supervision of judicial acts, it said.
The Supreme People’s Court will set up circuit courts to handle cases, while the country will explore establishing courts with jurisdictions spanning administrative regions, and building a system in which prosecuting bodies can institute public interest litigations, it said.
Trial judges and procurators will assume lifelong accountability for their cases, and public participation will be ensured in judicial procedures, the document said.
The Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Central Committee yesterday issued a document promoting the rule of law at the end of its four-day meeting in Beijing. — Xinhua
It added that the leadership of the Party must be ensured amid the country’s drive to advance the rule of law.
Tasks include improving the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics, in which the Constitution is taken as the core; strengthening the implementation of the Constitution, and promoting administration by law, it said.
The Central Committee also highlighted the need to speed up the creation of a law-abiding government, improve the credibility of the judicial system, promote public awareness of the law, and enhance the construction of a law-based society.
The drive to promote the rule of law needs the Party’s leadership while the Party’s rule depends on the law, the document said.
“Only if the CPC rules in line with the law, will people’s rights be realized,” it said.
The Party’s leadership is “the most fundamental guarantee” for comprehensively advancing the rule of law and building a country under the socialist rule of law, leaders agreed.
Effectiveness in implementing the rule of law will be key to judging officials’ performance and will be part of the appraisal system, the Party said.
The People’s Liberation Army will also promote the rule of law and enforce strict discipline. Tightly focusing on the goal of building a stronger army under the new circumstances, the country will establish a military legal system with Chinese characteristics, the document said.
China will guarantee the practice of “one country, two systems” and promote national reunification in line with laws, maintaining the long-term prosperity of Hong Kong and Macau, and protecting the rights and interests of the peoples of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
China will also strengthen its work on foreign-related legal work and safeguarding its sovereignty, it said.
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The Communist Party of China (CPC) laid down far-reaching blueprints for the rule of law in the country during a key meeting this week, with the statements highlighting the overarching role of the Constitution,
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