Date
19 August 2017
President Xi Jinping says China's legal system is facing serious problems from a corrupt judiciary. Photo: Bloomberg
President Xi Jinping says China's legal system is facing serious problems from a corrupt judiciary. Photo: Bloomberg

Xi vows crackdown on corrupt judges, prosecutors

President Xi Jinping has vowed to reform China’s judicial system to deal with injustice.

Xi said the legal system is facing “serious problems”, state news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday, citing a document from the fourth plenum of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee held last week.

It quoted Xi as saying the country’s judicial system is riddled with unfair trials and corrupt judges.

He denounced judges and prosecutors who manipulate cases in exchange for money and favors, the report said.

“Some even go two ways by draining both the defendant and the plaintiff,” he said.

The reason for these problems is a judicial system that is not effective and complete.

“The judicial system is the last defense for social justice,” he said.

“If it fails, people will widely question [the country's ability to realize] social justice and stability will hardly be maintained.”

Xi said the reform plan, which was published in full on Tuesday, includes measures to ensure the independence of the courts and prosecutors.

It bans party and government officials from asking judicial departments to break their duty and forbids judicial departments to take such orders from them.

Officials who intervene in law enforcement will be punished in line with party and administrative disciplines and face criminal charges if their conduct causes serious problems such as wrongful convictions.

The reform also includes new rules to regulate exchanges between judges and related parties and their lawyers.

Courts are encouraged to take on cases against government departments and governments will be pressed to appear on court.

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