Authorities told to watch human rights

By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-08 06:49

Luo Gan, the top Party leader in charge of legislative affairs, has vowed security authorities will pay better attention to human rights when probing criminal cases.

He has ordered public security authorities, State security authorities, people's procuratorates, people's courts and judicial administrative departments to shoulder the responsibility for preserving human rights themselves.

Luo, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the CPC Central Committee, made the promise at the fifth national criminal trial working conference on Monday.

"Procedures and the system of criminal lawsuits must be enforced strictly," he said, noting that every judgement should be well grounded and accurate.

Starting from January 1 next year, the Supreme People's Court will assume all powers to review and approve death sentences.

The move is designed to help ensure human rights protection in judicial proceedings and avoid unjust judgments.

Luo told various levels of CPC committees to adopt effective measures to guarantee the smooth implementation of the reform.

High people's courts at provincial, municipal and autonomous region level were authorized to review death sentences involving murder, rape, robbery, explosions and other serious violations of public security in the 1980's.

But death sentences in other types of cases, such as economic crimes, have always needed approval from the Supreme People's Court.

An amendment to the Organic Law on the People's Courts adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress late last month gave the Supreme People's Court all powers for examination and approval of death sentences, starting from next year.

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