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China witnesses remarkable progress in improving rule of law

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-04-25 13:54
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Railway police read the Constitution at a Constitution study event in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on Dec 3, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- Since the 18th national congress of the Communist Party of China, China has made remarkable achievements in pursuing the rule of law in the past decade.

Far-reaching reforms have been carried out in the political and legal sector, and the presence of law has been enhanced in every aspect of people's daily lives. Also, judiciary and law enforcement work has been improving to better meet the people's needs.

At a Friday press conference, officials from China's top legal departments introduced some of the country's achievements in improving the rule of law over the decade.

People come first

Over the last decade, the country has been dedicated to reforming the political and legal sector toward the goal of allowing the people to enjoy happy and safe lives, said Jing Hanchao, a senior official with the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

According to a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2021, about 98.6 percent of the country's population said they felt safe about living in the country. Citing the statistics, Jing said that China is now widely recognized as one of the safest countries in the world.

Apart from keeping people safe, China has also streamlined the use of law in daily lives, making legal services more accessible. For instance, various litigation procedures from case filing to hearings can now be processed online, and the coverage of legal aid has expanded, with legal aid stations set up in almost all detention centers and people's courts, said Jing.

Promoting fairness across the board

Solid achievements have been made by Chinese courts in pushing forward judicial reform, as well as continuously promoting and advancing a just, efficient and authoritative judicial system, said Shen Liang, a vice-president of the Supreme People's Court.

Chinese courts have been promoting the reform of the criminal procedure system with a focus on court proceedings and strictly adhering to the principles of legality, evidence-based verdicts and presumption of innocence, thereby institutionally ensuring that just verdicts are given to the guilty while the innocent are protected from criminal punishment, according to Shen.

Also, the country's procuratorial organs have taken up due responsibilities in ensuring judicial fairness. According to Yang Chunlei, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), the SPP spared no efforts in rectifying wrongful judicial decisions and holding those behind the decisions accountable. In the meantime, oversight has been enhanced to prevent negligence of duty and power abuse.

Open for public supervision

"China has been leading the world as far as judicial openness is concerned, in terms of either the scope and forms or the depth and breadth of judicial openness," said Shen.

Shen said China has made public not only court proceedings and judgments, but also trial procedures and the execution of effective judgments; not only the final verdict but also the reasons for the verdict. All these information is accessible to the public.

Judicial information is made public not only through media outlets, official websites, white papers, press conferences but also via 12368 service lines and relevant WeChat and Weibo accounts.

For instance, the website China Judgement Online consists of 130 million written judgements, and has seen more than 84 billion visits, said Shen.

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