China / Government

Grassroots judicial organs strengthened

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-10-09 11:13

BEIJING - China's grassroots courts, procuratorates, public security organs and judicial administrative bodies are strengthening such agencies as people's tribunals, procuratorial offices, police stations and judicial offices, said a white paper issued on Tuesday.

The efforts aim to "make judicial services close to the people and provide better service to them," said the white paper issued by the Information Office of the State Council on China's judicial reform.

In China, "most of the cases handled by judicial bodies take place at grassroots level, and grassroots judicial institutions are the frontline platforms providing judicial services to the public," the white paper said.

Every year grassroots people's tribunals in China try an average of 2.4 million cases, accounting for one-third of all cases tried by the people's courts of first instance across the country, it said.

In recent years, to facilitate litigation, local grassroots people's courts have resumed, built or improved the people's tribunals, and promoted a mechanism for people's tribunals to directly place cases on file for investigation by simplifying this procedure, it said.

Currently, China has nearly 10,000 people's tribunals, covering almost all towns or townships and urban neighborhoods, it said, adding convenient litigation offices and liaison points have been set up in remote villages and litigation liaisons are appointed.

Circuit tribunals have been set up in places where there is relative concentration of population, and they are encouraged to receive and hear cases as they go the rounds so as to serve the people as best they can, said the white paper.

Local grassroots people's procuratorates have established sub-offices in some major townships or towns to receive reports from the public about offences, their complaints and petitions, to find clues to crimes involving government functionaries, to exercise legal supervision over illegal practices in litigation, to do publicity work on crime prevention and the rule of law, to participate in social security comprehensive management and safety building, and to supervise and coordinate with community correction work, it said.

So far, China's procuratorates have set up 2,758 such offices and 9,622 other procuratorial agencies like liaison stations and work stations, the white paper said.

Meanwhile, public security organs are promoting a community policing strategy in Chinese urban and rural areas, it said.

China has more than 50,000 police stations and over 170,000 sub-stations, covering all the townships, towns and neighborhoods, making police services and distribution of police forces closer to the grassroots and the public, it said.

Public security organs have remarkably improved their capabilities to prevent and crack down on crimes, control security situation and serve the people, the white paper said.

Since 2006, cases of serious violent crimes in eight categories handled by public security organs nationwide, including murder, robbery, rape, kidnapping and personal injury, have kept going down, by 9 percent in 2010 from 2009, and by 10 percent in 2011 from 2010, it said.

In recent years, in addition to the functions of legal publicity, legal assistance, mediation guidance and grassroots legal services, the grassroots judicial offices have taken upon themselves such new functions as community correction, and settling down and rehabilitating those who have committed minor offences, it said.

Currently, China has more than 40,000 such offices, covering most of the country's townships or towns and urban districts.

From 2004 to 2011, the judicial offices solved 2.84 million disputes, assisted in the mediation and settlement of 46.77 million difficult and complex disputes, participated in resettlement of 2.69 million ex-convicts, and guided the handling of 1.12 million legal-assistance cases, the white paper said.


China issues white paper on judicial reform

The Information Office of the State Council issued Tuesday a white paper on judicial reform. Apart from reviewing China's judicial system and reform process, the white paper focuses on maintaining social fairness, justice and human rights protection. Full story

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