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Pilot juror program to be extended until May

By Cao Yin | | Updated: 2017-04-25 10:58

A two-year pilot program to increase public participation in legal proceedings and improve the standing of court rulings is expected to be extended by a year to May 2018, according to a draft submitted to China's top legislature on Monday.

The draft is to be discussed at the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which lasts until Thursday.

The Supreme People's Court launched the pilot program in 10 provincial regions, including Beijing, Chongqing, and the provinces of Hebei and Shandong, in April 2015.

Unlike the jury system in the United States, where jurors are randomly selected, jurors in China are chosen from candidates recommended by local communities or authorities.

"But the pilot program aims to increase the random selection, as well as allow more people from different walks of life to participate in legal proceedings," said Shen Deyong, executive vice-president of the SPC.

So far, 13,322 people have been selected as jurors in the 50 courts under the pilot program. They participated in 81,772 case hearings last year, including 11,642 criminal trials, Shen said.

"But some legal experts suggest maintaining juror recommendations from communities and authorities because some cases require common people with professional backgrounds, including medicine and architecture," he said.

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