Transparency sought to keep trial fairness
Chief Justice Xiao Yang Tuesday pledged to increase trial transparency to ensure fairness.
"We will take concrete measures to promote justice through all kinds of activities related to making trials more open to the public," said Xiao, president of the Supreme People's Court.
Xiao made these remarks Tuesday when reporting to the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislative body, on the performance of nearly 150,000 judges at more than 10,000 grassroots courts.
The lawmakers also heard a report on the work of grassroots public prosecutors which was made by Jia Chunwang, prosecutor-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
Jia vowed to improve the professional skills and the code of ethics of public prosecutors so that they could better serve the people.
Xiao said all case-filing information, including the standards and procedures for a court to accept a case, and all information on execution of judgment will be open to the public, on the Internet if applicable.
Grassroots courts will be asked to create conditions for more people to gain access to visit the court and audit trials, he said. Every court will have to invite the deputies to local people's congresses and members of local political consultative bodies to watch trials at least once.
Xiao said the Supreme People's Court is working on a set of criteria to assess the quality of the performance of judges, which will be released to the public.
The chief justice said all these measures aim to solve existing problems of poor quality of trials, unfair and behind-the-scene judgment as well as sluggish enforcement of effective verdicts, which had long been at the centre of complaints.
Prosecutor-General Jia said grassroots public prosecutors will receive more training to advance their academic level and improve their working skills.
So far, only 41 per cent of the 159,193 grassroots public prosecutors across the country have received formal college education.
Jia's office has worked out a plan to train public prosecutors, which will be carried out in five years.
This year the programme will focus on the training of all directors of the grassroots anti-corruption offices and all division chiefs in charge of investigations in cases of dereliction of duty.