NPC deputies elect top ju­di­cial of­fi­cials Na­tion’s new chief pros­e­cu­tor vows to pro­mote re­form

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Two Sessions - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­ PHO­TOS BY YAO DAWEI / XIN­HUA

re-elected pres­i­dent of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court, and Zhang Jun, newly elected procu­ra­tor-gen­eral of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate, take the oath of al­le­giance to the na­tion’s Con­sti­tu­tion af­ter their elec­tion in Bei­jing on Sun­day.

A vet­eran ju­di­cial of­fi­cial has been elected to lead the top procu­ra­torate for the fol­low­ing five years and is ex­pected to push for­ward the coun­try’s ju­di­cial re­form to­gether with the na­tion’s chief jus­tice.

Zhang Jun was elected procu­ra­tor-gen­eral of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate on Sun­day at the first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­gress, China’s na­tional leg­is­la­ture.

Zhang, born in Oc­to­ber 1956, is a mem­ber of the 19th Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China. He was ap­pointed min­is­ter of jus­tice in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

At the same ses­sion, Zhou Qiang was re-elected pres­i­dent of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court. Zhou, born in April 1960, is also a mem­ber of the 19th CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee. He was first elected pres­i­dent of the top court in 2013.

Both of them took an oath of al­le­giance to the na­tion’s Con­sti­tu­tion af­ter their elec­tion on Sun­day.

Al­though Zhang is new to the top procu­ra­torate, he has ac­cu­mu­lated rich work­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in ju­di­cial bod­ies.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing a grad­u­ate de­gree in crim­i­nal law at Ren­min Uni­ver­sity of China in 1985, Zhang joined the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court and worked his way up to be­come vice-pres­i­dent of the top court in late 2001.

Be­tween late 2001 and Fe­bru­ary 2017, when he was ap­pointed min­is­ter of jus­tice, Zhang served in var­i­ous deputy lead­er­ship po­si­tions at the top court, the Min­istry of Jus­tice and the Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion, the Party’s top dis­ci­plinary watch­dog.

Since be­com­ing the jus­tice min­is­ter, Zhang has led sev­eral ef­forts to im­prove legal services for the pub­lic, and bet­ter pro­tect and man­age lawyers.

In Oc­to­ber, the min­istry is­sued a doc­u­ment launch­ing a pi­lot pro­gram to in­crease the pres­ence of de­fense lawyers in crim­i­nal cases in eight pro­vin­cial-level ar­eas.

Zhou, a post­grad­u­ate in law, started to work at the Min­istry of Jus­tice in 1985. He be­came di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s leg­is­la­tion de­part­ment in 1995, and then spent the fol­low­ing 11 years as an of­fi­cial with the Com­mu­nist Youth League.

In 2010, Zhou was ap­pointed Party sec­re­tary of Hu­nan prov­ince, and three years later was elected chief jus­tice of the top court.

Han Deyun, an NPC deputy and a lawyer from Chongqing, said he feels con­fi­dent and is look­ing for­ward to see­ing more ju­di­cial progress af­ter Sun­day’s elec­tions.

“I’ve ob­served in­creas­ingly stronger de­ter­mi­na­tion and ac­tions from the top court and top procu­ra­torate to push for­ward the rule of law since the 18th CPC Na­tional Con­gress in late 2012,” he said.

“I hope such mo­men­tum can be main­tained af­ter the elec­tion of the lead­er­ship of the two top ju­di­cial or­gans.”

Han said Zhang had done a great job in im­prov­ing pro­tec­tion for lawyers dur­ing his term of of­fice at the Min­istry of Jus­tice and hopes he can lead pros­e­cu­tors in mak­ing more progress.

Li Li, another NPC deputy and a judge from Bei­jing, said she was en­cour­aged by the elec­tions. “The two ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties should make more ef­forts to build tech­nol­ogy-friendly courts and procu­ra­torates, and try to up­hold jus­tice in ev­ery in­di­vid­ual case,” she said.

Zhou Qiang (left),

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