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Beijing court tightens judicial discipline
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-19 01:35

The Beijing High People's Court Wednesday increased the severity of punishments made against judges that have improper relationships with litigants and their lawyers.

Judges at various levels of local courts in Beijing will be immediately dismissed if they violate the six rules, vice-President of the Beijing High People's Court Li Ke announced Wednesday.

The six regulations are:

- Judges are forbidden to have any financial relationship with litigants and lawyers, including having dinner with them.

- Judges are forbidden from revealing the details of any internal discussion in the court to litigants and lawyers before the court makes its judgment.

- Judges are forbidden to hear lawsuits if the litigants or lawyers are their relatives, friends, classmates, teachers, students or colleagues.

- Judges are forbidden from taking part in any non-business activities financed by litigants or lawyers, for example, travel and entertainment.

- Judges are forbidden from introducing lawyers to litigants and introducing lawsuits to lawyers.

- Judges are forbidden from meeting litigants and lawyers in private.

If judges violate the law, they will also be held responsible for their actions, Li said.

Although the six rules are already set out in current laws and regulations by the Supreme People's Court, such strict punishment is unprecedented, according to Li.

If judges had committed any of the six offences in the past, they would be punished, but not dismissed.

"Currently, some litigants and their lawyers corrupt judges in order to influence their decision," Li said.

"Some judges even colluded with lawyers to damage the legal interests of litigants," he said.

Li admitted Wednesday that it is difficult to discover all such activities that violate the six rules.

"But a supervisory network has been established, from inside and outside the court," he said.

Special supervisory departments have been set up at all levels of local courts in Beijing, from the Beijing High People's Court to district and county people's courts.

Local courts in Beijing have taken the lead in establishing these departments.

Meanwhile, deputies to local people's congresses, the media, the local procuratorates and local residents all have effective ways in which to convey their opinions and complaints, sources said.

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