China selects jurors for pilot public participation program

Updated: 2016-06-29 09:30


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BEIJING - More than 13,000 jurors have been selected to participate in a two-year pilot program to increase public participation in legal proceedings and improve the standing of court rulings, according to the Supreme People's Court (SPC) Tuesday.

Since the launch of the pilot program in April 2015, jurors at 50 courts in ten provincial regions including Beijing, Hebei, Shandong and Chongqing have participated in hearing concerning 10,002 criminal cases, 59,616 civil cases and 4,711 administrative cases, accounting for 73.2 percent of first trial cases, said the SPC in a statement.

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

The reform program increased the minimum age for jurors from 23 to 28 but lowered education requirements. It also changed the selection procedure to allow more people from different walks of life. In the program, at least three jurors are required to sit on major case panels, up from the previous two.

The SPC noted that jurors in the program were involved in major cases that may have a big impact on public interests and group interests. A special collegiate bench involving more than three jurors and a judge were involved in the hearing of 818 sensitive cases, it added.

A large number of common people who know public opinions will be selected as jurors, said the statement.