China / Government

Judicial reform focuses on strengthening rule of law

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-18 09:46

Wang Jian, a small-business owner from Sichuan province who is stuck in a lengthy lawsuit, is eagerly waiting for news about an upcoming Party session that is set to focus on the rule of law.

"My case is a contract dispute," he said. "It is not very complicated, but has kept me in court for more than two years. I hope the meeting will produce concrete measures on judicial reform to help people like me."

The fourth plenary session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is set to open on Monday to discuss the rule of law. It will be the first Party session to take the rule of law as its theme.

The rule of law is defined as the principle that a nation should be run in accordance with the law, and not by arbitrary decisions by individual officials.

"I don't really care about winning or losing the case. I just want a fair judgment in line with the law," Wang said.

He expects judicial reform to create a more efficient and just legal system, remove barriers and ease procedures.

Plans for judicial reform were unveiled in June, when China's Leading Group for Overall Reform, a top-level reform planning body headed by President Xi Jinping, issued a general guideline.

The upcoming Party session is expected to speed up the current reforms and make progress on difficult problems.

From illegal demolitions to food safety and pollution control, many citizens are hoping better legislation and law enforcement can help settle disputes and stop injustice.

Hou Ping, who lives in a northeast suburb of Beijing, the nation's haze-plagued capital, said: "Air pollution is so serious, but many factories that were shut down by authorities for causing pollution are opened again. The law must do something about them."

Zhang Mingyi, a taxi driver in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, said: "I have seen news stories about real estate developers demolishing people's houses and driving them out by force. Can the authorities and the law protect us?"

Zhang is about to start negotiations over the demolition of his former home. "All I want is for (the developers) to do it in a proper and legal way," he said. "Then I will not be worried."

Curbing corruption and regulating government intervention in the market are two other hot issues the public hopes can be addressed through the rule of law.

Li Yue, who lives near the Fenhe River in a scenic part of the provincial capital of Taiyuan, said: "We certainly applaud the anti-graft campaign, but how long can it last?"

Wang Chunhong, who runs a small high-tech company in Wuhan, Hubei province, said he hopes the government can perform its duties in line with laws and regulations.

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