7 October 2015
Although Chinese judicial reforms include establishing a trial-centered judicial system that provides better protection for human rights (including property rights), under Party disciplinary regulations senior Party officials (such as former Supreme People’s Court Vice President Xi Xiaoming, subject of an earlier blogpost), often have property confiscated or other property punishments imposed at the conclusion of Party disciplinary proceedings. This means that confiscation of assets occurs before an official’s case is transferred to the procuracy and heard by the courts. According to the official statementon the disposition of Judge Xi’s case:
(He) was ordered to make restitution of certain amounts that were in violation of discipline;the issues related to his suspected crimes and related amounts are transferred to the judicial organs for handing.责令退赔违纪款；将其涉嫌犯罪问题及涉款物移送司法机关依法处理.
The wording is similar to official statements issued in relation to other senior officials investigated by the CCDI and the same language is to be found in reports on the dispositions of local Communist Party disciplinary investigations... Click here to read the full post.
3 October 2015
Buried in the depths of documents issued in the course of this year are the outlines of the way the Supreme People’s Court (Court) intends to create a corps of judges in which litigants, domestic and foreign, have faith will provide justice. The many measures set out in the 4th Five Year Judicial Reform Plan raise the competency bar for judges. A more litigious and rights conscious public, the increasingly complex economy and greater number of cross-border transactions and interaction, as well as smaller number of judges to hear more cases means that judicial training is an important part of of preparing Chinese judges for the new normal.
The broad outlines of the Court’s plans for judicial training are set out in the following documents:
- the Court’s latest 5 Year Training Plan, for 2015-2019, issued in June, the framework document;
- the September 17, 2015 Communist Party Central Committee/State Council document on the open economy, calling for improving foreign-related competence in the judiciary; and
- the September 25 White House press release, in which the United States and China commit to conduct high-level and expert discussions commencing in early 2016 to provide a forum to support and exchange views on judicial reform and identify and evaluate the challenges and strategies in implementing the rule of law.
Susan Finder is a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Chinese Law and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law in the fall semester 2015. She recently spoke at the European China Law Studies Association's 10th Annual Conference held at the University of Cologne, Germany, on 26 September 2015. She spoke on 'Assessing China's Court Reforms after One Year' in the panel on Chinese Courts and Recent Judicial Reforms. She will also be speaking on the rule of law and criminal justice/fair trials at the one-day Symposium on Rule of Law and the Magna Carta on 16 October 2015, to be held at Guangzhou University, sponsored by the British Consulate.