Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Defenders of social fairness

By Gao Changjian (China Daily) Updated: 2013-11-28 07:22

Enforcement of proposed reforms will enable judicial organs to be impartial arbitrators of contradictions and disputes

In a move to push forward long-anticipated judicial reforms, the authorities recently demanded that independent adjudicatory and procuratorial power should be guaranteed in the country in accordance with the laws.

In a guideline document unveiled at the end of the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the authorities urged that the judicial management system be reformed to promote the establishment of a unified fiscal management system within the courts and procuratorates under the provincial level, explore a judicial system independent of local governments and ensure the enforcement of the country's laws. At the same time, it demanded that the country's judicial committee system be reformed to better the accountability system for the presiding judge and collegial panel and strengthen supervision between lower and higher courts.

Defenders of social fairness

Top Chinese leaders attend the third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 12, 2013. The session lasted from Nov. 9 to 12. [Photo / Xinhua]

These steps, which reveal there is the political courage and the wisdom to break deep-rooted ideological handcuffs and smash the fence of long-entrenched interests, will help reduce the excessive administrative influence within the judicial system that has for a long time negatively affected judicial justice and judicial authority.

Reform of the judicial system remains an important part of the reform of political institutions and an important step toward promoting the rule of law. It is also a thorny task that needs great political courage and wisdom to resolve.

Over the past 30-plus years since the adoption of the reform and opening-up initiative, China's judicial power has continued to expand and played its role in the handling of disputes. In general, a sound and effective judicial system with a basically reasonable judicial structure and modern judicial concepts has been established. Remarkable progress has also been made in the professionalism of judges, the institutionalization of judicial procedures, and the expansion of judicial functions, as well as independence of the judiciary.

Yet despite the enormous achievements that have been made, some factors that endanger the country's judicial authority and credibility remain and numerous deep-rooted problems and malpractices are yet to be eradicated. At the same time, a lot of conceptual obstacles and restraints lie in the way of deepened judicial reforms.

Owing to institutional factors, judicial organs can fail to play their due role in resolving social contradictions and conflicts, which has resulted in a rise in the number of cases involving people seeking help through non-judicial channels. This can be seen in the large number of petitions submitted to Party or government departments and even the outburst of some mass incidents.

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