Opinion / From the Press

Stricter rules for law enforcers

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-30 07:24

Stricter rules for law enforcers

A policeman checks ID cards at Wuwei city's railway station on Feb 14. [Photo/Xinhua]

The general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet, have jointly issued a document aimed at enforcing standardized rules for police. This will be done by improving the country's law enforcement mechanism, strengthening the monitoring and management system, and maximizing the use of internet and communication technology.

As the police force is a core component of the administrative law enforcement mechanism, the standards and rules it complies with determine the extent to which a country follows the rule of law.

China has made much progress in promoting standardized law enforcement in recent years. But malpractices, such as selective and forcible law enforcement, and even abuse of power, from time to time underscore the need to ensure that police follow the law. The document is a step in that direction.

The next move should be to make sure the document is enforced in letter and spirit. Besides, a strong monitoring and accountability mechanism needs to be put in place.

According to the document, China will also strengthen the correction and accountability system, upgrade the procedures to deal with mishandled cases, and establish a mechanism to bring those responsible parties to book. Moreover, independent agencies should be invited to supervise law enforcement officers. This will also bring them under broader public scrutiny.

The highly standardized law enforcement by Hong Kong police can be largely attributed to the existence of a broad supervisory apparatus comprising both official and unofficial functionaries. The Chinese mainland could learn from Hong Kong's effective system.

A sound internal monitoring mechanism and a strong and well-functioning external supervisory network will curb the abuse of power by police and improve their relationship with the public.-Beijing News

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