Full Text: White Paper on Judicial Reform in China
Updated: 2012-10-09 13:12
5. Strengthening Legal Supervision by Procuratorial Organs
The people's procuratorates exercise legal supervision over judicial activities, such as investigation, trial and execution. China sets enhancing supervision over judicial power as the focus of its judicial reform, and has taken a range of measures to strengthen legal supervision.
Strengthening legal supervision over case-filing and activities of the investigation organs. The people's procuratorates and organs of public security have established a briefing system and information-sharing platform for criminal cases. By means of examining and approving for arrest, handling people's petitions and visits, complaints of litigants, public opinion and media reports, the people's procuratorates and organs of public security can promptly find clues to failures in putting a case on file for investigation, or wrongfully putting a case on file for investigation, so that they can review and deal with such situations in accordance with the law. When accepting a case, a charge or a reported offence, or discovering that investigation personnel have collected evidence illegally, the people's procuratorates give suggestions for correction based on investigation and affirmation, and in the meantime, enhance supervision over the examination and approval of an arrest, the extension or recalculation of an investigation or detention. In 2011, the procuratorial organs in China supervised the filing of 19,786 cases. They urged the correction of unlawful procedures during the investigation of 39,432 cases.
Strengthening legal supervision over the judicial activities of the people's courts. For criminal, civil and administrative judgments, rulings and mediation decisions that have come into effect, if mistakes are found in them or which might damage the national or public interest, or contravene legal procedures and affect judicial justice, the procuratorial organs are entitled to lodge a protest or give procuratorial suggestions and take other supervisory measures. The people's courts shall deal with the matter and give a written reply within a month after receiving the procuratorial suggestion.
Strengthening legal supervision over penalty execution and surveillance and control process. In view of the exposure of some pernicious incidents in detention houses and prisons in recent years, the procuratorial organs, along with related departments, have launched a campaign to review law-enforcement work in detention houses and to "remove hidden dangers of accidents and promote safe custody" in prisons, in order to ensure the implementation of surveillance and control according to law. The procuratorial organs have intensified supervision over prison and other places of surveillance by regulating and strengthening the work on resident procurator's offices established at these places, building up a network to share information on law enforcement and monitoring in these places, and improving and implementing mechanisms for supervision over detention procedures and for on-site inspections. In addition, the procuratorial organs have intensified supervision over commutation of punishment, parole and temporary execution of sentences outside prison, worked to establish a supervision mechanism for the punctual implementation of penalty changes, and conducted special checks on the implementation of medical parole and the use of enforcement tools and punishing confinement at detention houses. The newly amended Criminal Procedure Law promulgated in 2012 stipulates that prisons, detention houses and other surveillance agencies, when giving suggestions or written proposals to the people's courts for commutation of punishment, release on parole or execution of sentence outside prison, should send the written proposals or copies of them to the people's procuratorates, which can submit their opinions to the people's courts in writing.
Strengthening supervision over judicial functionaries' acts of dereliction of duty. The Supreme People's Procuratorate, together with the Supreme People's Court and other relevant organs, have formulated Some Regulations on Intensifying Legal Supervision over Judicial Functionaries' Dereliction of Duty in Litigation Activities. It makes clear that procuratorial organs can exercise their supervision over 12 acts of dereliction of duty (including bending the law for personal gains) on the part of judicial functionaries by investigating and confirming the alleged violations, giving rectification opinions, and suggesting that the judicial functionaries in question be replaced, in order to punish dereliction of duty, to curb judicial corruption and safeguard justice.