CHINA / National

Judiciary takes action to close legal loopholes
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-31 05:52

China's judiciary is moving to standardize the collation, presentation and appraisal of evidence in all court cases, ending anomalies between different laws and judgments.

Vice-president Shen Deyong of the Supreme People's Court yesterday outlined the proposed new code at the ongoing two-day Canada-China Seminar on Litigation Evidence Issues, jointly held by the Supreme People's Court of China and the Supreme Court of Canada.

He said it would be the first independent evidence code in China.

The Criminal Procedure Law, Civil Procedure Law, Administrative Procedural Law, Administrative Penalty Law, Law on Penalties Against Public Offences, Taxes Collection Management Law and several judicial interpretations made by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate all had provisions on the collation, presentation and appraisal of evidence.

"But the provisions in different laws on evidence are overlapping or uncoordinated and leave loopholes, causing problems, such as the permissibility of written testimony, and there are no specific regulations on the use and appraisal of electronic evidence," said Shen.

Shen said the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress had yet to decide when the code would be adopted into the legislation plan.

With the development of new evidence appraisal methods, such as handwriting, footprint and voice verification and DNA appraisal, judges would have a greater range of evidence to help in their judgments.

Chief judge and president of the Supreme People's Court Xiao Yang and Canadian counterpart Beverley McLachlin attended the seminar.

Fixed by Premier Wen Jiabao in his visit to Canada in 2003, a five-year Sino-Canada judicial co-operation project began in November last year, sources said.

Xiao said Canada has experience in the collation, presentation and appraisal of evidence from which China could learn.

(China Daily 05/31/2006 page3)