China / Politics

Legal interpretation clarifies procedure for juvenile cases

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-24 21:23

BEIJING - China's top legislature Thursday adopted an interpretation to the criminal procedure law which clears up ambiguities in juvenile cases.

The new legal document was passed at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which closed here on Thursday.

The document clarifies what victims should do if they do not agree with prosecutors about dropping a charge against a juvenile suspect.

The criminal procedure law allows prosecutors to drop a charge against a juvenile suspect if he or she shows remorse for a minor crime that may only lead to a sentence of less than one year.

But it also allows victims of all cases to file a lawsuit themselves even if prosecutors decide not to prosecute.

The new document makes clear that if the victim in a juvenile case does not agree and wants to complain, they should turn to higher-level prosecutors and are not allowed to go to court themselves.

But it also regulates that prosecutors should fully consider the opinions of the victims before they decide not to charge.

Through conditional nol-pros on a juvenile criminal suspect, the legal system wants to give a second chance to a young offender and try its best to educate and save him or her, said Lang Sheng, deputy head of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, when elaborating on the bill to lawmakers on Monday.

"It is not appropriate to allow victims to sue after prosecutors have fully considered the case and dropped the charge, " Lang said.

The bill also clarifies two other issues about suspects breaking bail conditions and residential surveillance and convicts who serve terms outside prison.

It regulates that a suspect on bail or under residential surveillance should be arrested if he or she tries to interfere in trial proceedings, no matter how slight his or her alleged offence is.

The document also makes clear that the court will arrange medical examinations on convicts that apply to serve terms outside prison for medical reasons. If the court decides to return them to prison, the police are tasked to deliver them.

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