China's chief justice warns of weakness in court system

Updated: 2014-03-10 16:09
BEIJING - Chief Justice Zhou Qiang warned against some judges' bureaucracy and misconduct Monday, when elaborating problems in China's court system.

"Some judges and court staff showed bureaucracy at work and enjoyed privileges. They were indifferent to litigants and some even took bribes and bent the law for personal ends. People are angry with them," said Zhou, when delivering a work report of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) at the second session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC).

In June last year, three judges and a discipline official with a Shanghai court were found to have solicited prostitutes by a netizen who released a video footage on the Internet.

The SPC issued a strong-worded statement, accusing them of tarring the image of the nation's judges and scarring judicial credibility. They were dismissed later.

Last month, Liu Yong, an SPC official, was suspected of taking bribes of over 2 million yuan (330,000 U.S. dollars) in exchange for intervening in trials. Liu was transferred to judicial organs and related departments have decided to expel him from public office.

According to Zhou's report, a total of 381 judges and court staff were caught misusing their power and violating disciplines and laws, 101 of whom were prosecuted.

Zhou also noted that some courts were not efficient and delivered wrong verdicts, which damaged the interests of litigants and credibility of the court.

More efforts should be made to ensure independent exercise of jurisdiction and improve the quality and efficiency of trials, he said.

Common people still find it difficult to lodge and proceed with a lawsuit while, in many cases, court orders are not enforced, he said.

As the number of lawsuits keeps increasing, a number of local courts are running short of judges and staff, especially in underdeveloped and remote areas, he said.