Re­forms re­spond to people’s con­cerns

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

The newround of re­form not only marks a new­stage in com­pre­hen­sively pro­mot­ing the rule of law, it also re­flects the all-round and in­te­grated con­cept of the rule of law that China has formed.

Ad­vanc­ing the mod­ern­iza­tion of the State gov­er­nance sys­tem and gov­ern­ing com­pe­tence, im­prov­ing the abil­ity to gov­ern the coun­try with le­gal thought in a le­gal way, ac­cel­er­at­ing the con­struc­tion of a fair and au­thor­i­ta­tive ju­di­cial sys­tem, guar­an­tee­ing in­de­pen­dent and fairly ex­er­cised ju­di­cial and pros­e­cu­to­rial power ac­cord­ing to the law, and per­fect­ing the ju­di­cial pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights, also ac­tively re­spond to people’s con­cerns.

People should have the right to say whether the laws and reg­u­la­tions that gov­ern them are good or not.

On Dec 28, 2013, the Na­tional People’s Congress Stand­ing Com­mit­tee ap­proved the abo­li­tion of reed­u­ca­tion through la­bor, which has been im­ple­mented over the last fifty years in China. Dur­ing this pe­riod, reed­u­ca­tion through la­bor played a role in safe­guard­ing so­cial or­der and guar­an­tee­ing so­cial sta­bil­ity, as well as ed­u­cat­ing and re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing law­break­ers. How­ever, with the im­prove­ment of China’s so­cial­ist le­gal sys­tem and hu­man rights en­vi­ron­ment, it was nec­es­sary to abol­ish this pol­icy to main­tain China’s uni­fied le­gal sys­tem and the author­ity of Con­sti­tu­tion.

Like­wise, over the past four decades in China, the fam­ily plan­ning pol­icy has played a key role in con­trol­ling ex­ces­sive pop­u­la­tion growth and eas­ing the pres­sures on re­sources and the en­vi­ron­ment. But China’s so­cial, eco­nomic and de­mo­graphic con­di­tions have changed in re­cent years, and af­ter a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee has de­cided to ad­just the de­mo­graphic pol­icy ac­cord­ing to the lawto al­low cou­ples to have a sec­ond child if one of them is the only child of his or her fam­ily.

Strict and civ­i­lized lawen­force­ment and en­forc­ing the law­for the people are at the heart of the rule of law. To place power within the cage of rules, it is nec­es­sary to gov­ern ac­cord­ing to the lawand to put govern­ment in the “sun­shine”.

Since last year, China’s newlead­er­ship has re­duced and sim­pli­fied the ad­min­is­tra­tive ex­am­i­na­tion and ap­proval pro­ce­dures on a large scale, can­celling or de­cen­tral­iz­ing more than 400 ad­min­is­tra­tive ex­am­i­na­tion and ap­proval items. The govern­ment has also fur­ther deep­ened re­form of the ad­min­is­tra­tive sys­tem by im­prov­ing law en­force­ment pro­ce­dures, and au­thor­i­ties at all lev­els are mak­ing ef­forts to deal with prob­lems such as over­lap­ping re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and en­deav­or­ing to ex­er­cise clear, fair and proper ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures, and to guar­an­tee cit­i­zens’ ba­sic pro­ce­dural rights, such as the right to know, right to de­fend one­self and right to pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion. They are also im­ple­ment­ing non-manda­to­ry­ways, such as guid­ance, con­sul­ta­tion and ed­u­ca­tion, to per­form their du­ties, in or­der to re­duce and avoid il­le­gal ad­min­is­tra­tive and lawen­force­ment be­hav­iors. The govern­ment is also pay­ing more at­ten­tion to the con­struc­tion of ad­min­is­tra­tive and le­gal pro­ce­dures, es­pe­cially with re­gard to land ex­pro­pri­a­tion, hous­ing de­mo­li­tions and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

To carry out the con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ple of re­spect­ing and safe­guard­ing people’s rights and guar­an­tee ju­di­cial fair­ness and jus­tice, the Supreme People’s Court is­sued ju­di­cial in­ter­pre­ta­tions of China’s Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Lawto fur­ther stip­u­late and re­fine the sys­tem for pro­tect­ing people’s lit­i­ga­tion rights on Jan 1, 2013. And courts at all lev­els are mak­ing ef­forts to make the ju­di­cial process trans­par­ent and mak­ing judg­ments pub­lic via the In­ter­net. In 2013, dur­ing Bo Xi­lai’s first trial, the Ji­nan Intermediate People’s Court de­buted live mi­cro blog broad­cast­ing, which re­ceived wide­spread at­ten­tion both at home and aboard.

And with the con­struc­tion of the rule of lawin China, ju­di­cial de­part­ments are promptly and ef­fi­ciently re­spond­ing to cases in which people have been un­justly, falsely or wrongly charged or sen­tenced; cor­rect­ing the judg­ments and pro­vid­ing State com­pen­sa­tion ac­cord­ing to the law. In such cases, in­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­ducted to de­ter­mine the li­a­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity of the ju­di­cial staff in­volved. The ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties have also is­sued a se­ries of more spe­cific, de­tailed and fea­si­ble reg­u­la­tions, and have launched a se­ries of more pre­cise, ef­fec­tive and fair mea­sures to safe­guard de­fen­dants’ hu­man rights.

Ju­di­cial de­part­ments have also suc­ces­sively es­tab­lished and im­proved the pre­cau­tions in the work­ing mech­a­nism aimed at pre­vent­ing un­just or false charges and sen­tences. These mea­sures not only rep­re­sent progress in ju­di­cial jus­tice, but also pro­mote the nec­es­sary con­di­tions for fully pro­pel­ling ju­di­cial re­form. The au­thor is the dean of Law School of Shan­dong Univer­sity.

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