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Full text: New Progress in the Judicial Protection of Human Rights in China

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

09-12-2016 14:33 BJT

The Supreme People's Court opened an online platform for complaints and appeals in February 2014, and an online video system to receive complaints and appeals in May of that year, which handled a total of 8,200 cases by 2015. In 2015, visits to the Supreme People's Court of those who were seeking legal justice to their own case dropped by 12 percent on a year-on-year basis. The Supreme People's Procuratorate established an online video system to receive appeals, which connects procuratorial organs at all four levels. In 2015, procuratorial organs at all levels received and handled 1,148,000 letters and visits. In 2012-2015, the Ministry of Justice received 19,788 people, registered 6,537 visits, and received 73,843 letters, including 10,337 letters on matters relating to the administrative organs of justice.

Abolish the system of reeducation through labor, and strengthen social governance with the rule of law. For more than 50 years, the system of reeducation through labor played a positive role in China, appropriate to the historical circumstances, in protecting public security, maintaining social order, ensuring social stability, and educating and rehabilitating lawbreakers. But over time its functions were gradually replaced with the implementation of laws such as the Law on Penalties for Administration of Public Security and the Law on Narcotics Control, and also through improvements in the Criminal Law. Over the years, as the relevant laws became increasingly applicable in cases of reeducation through labor, the correction system played a lesser role. In December 2013, the Standing Committee of the NPC passed the Decision on Annulment of the Regulations on Reeducation Through Labor, putting an end to the system. It was also decided that persons who were receiving reeducation through labor as prescribed by law should be released and exempted from their remaining terms.

Establish a national judicial assistance system, and strengthen the protection of victims. In 2014, six state organs, including the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Public Security, jointly issued a document for establishing the national judicial assistance system. Under the framework, the state provides economic assistance to victims of crime who are unable to obtain financial compensation, to help them through difficulties. Judicial organs strictly perform their duty of notifying such victims of their right to apply for judicial assistance, and ensuring that eligible applicants receive timely relief. In 2015, 1.67 billion yuan went to 71,700 victims and their families. By the end of 2015, public security organs had given 140 million yuan in judicial assistance to 6,338 persons. From January 2014 to October 2015, procuratorial organs at all levels received 13,000 applications for judicial assistance, and granted 120 million yuan of relief. From 2013 to 2015, people's courts at all levels allowed 625 million yuan in reduction or exemption of litigation fees for parties in economic difficulty.

II. Further Improve the Legal Guarantee Procedure of Human Rights

We have reformed the case admitting system by converting the case-filing review system into a case-filing register system. We have revised the Criminal Procedure Law, and implemented principles of legality, presumption of innocence, exclusion of unlawful evidence. We have revised the Civil Procedure Law to effectively settle disputes. We have also revised the Administrative Procedure Law to strengthen the protection of legitimate rights and interests of private parties in administrative lawsuits. We have enacted the first Anti-Domestic Violence Law to strengthen legal protection of the personal rights of victims of domestic violence.

People's courts change the case-filing review system into a case-filing register system to better protect litigants' right of appeal. On May 1, 2015, a case-filing register system came into operation. People's courts should accept and register all cases of litigation, handle all those that meet the conditions of admissibility and prosecution, and ensure that all cases are entered and properly handled, and that litigious right is exercised without obstruction. From May to December in 2015, 9.94 million first trial cases were registered at courts across the country, a year-on-year increase of 29.54 percent; the on-the-spot case registration rate was 95 percent, among which civil cases increased by 26.45 percent, administrative cases 66.51 percent and criminal cases 58.66 percent. Difficulties in filing administrative lawsuits concerning housing demolition, land acquisition, and government information disclosure were significantly eased.

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