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Full text: National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016-2020)

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

09-29-2016 15:18 BJT


II. Civil and Political Rights

Law-based governance shall be advanced, judicial protection of human rights strengthened and orderly civil participation in political affairs expanded to effectively protect the people' s civil and political rights.

(1) Rights of the person

Acts of law enforcement and judicature touching on the rights of the person shall be standardized. Measures shall be taken to prevent extorting confessions by torture. Places of surveillance shall be regularized to protect the rights of people whose personal freedom is subject to restriction.

-- Improving laws and regulations concerning administrative bodies and procedures. Administrative bodies shall not extend their power beyond the law, and not impose any coercive measure or punishment that restrict personal freedom in the absence of Constitutional basis or legal basis.

-- Improving law enforcement procedures. A system of archiving shall be established of the entire law-enforcement process, and the system of judicial supervision shall be improved over coercive administrative measures involving rights of the person.

-- Improving judicial oversight over judicial and investigation means that restrict personal freedom. Efforts shall be strengthened to prevent at source interrogation by torture and illegal collection of evidence, and improve the mechanism for preventing and redressing unjust, false and erroneous cases in a timely manner. The system of synchronous video and audio recording shall be implemented for the entire process of questioning criminal suspects, while the scope of its application being gradually expanded. Trial implementation shall be made of the system of transferring major cases together with the relevant synchronous video and audio recordings.

-- Improving the mechanism of consulting lawyers at the stage of investigation. Where the defense lawyer entrusted by a criminal suspect provides written opinions, materials and evidence that prove the suspect's acts do not constitute a crime, arrest is unnecessary, detention is unsuitable or investigation is illegal, the procurator shall state clearly in the relevant written report on investigation and arrest the conditions and reasons for whether or not adopting the lawyer's opinions.

-- Seriously implementing the system of residential surveillance at designated places. Tight control shall be enforced on the conditions and duration of residential surveillance, as well as the places and means of enforcement, in addition to improvement of the pertinent review and approval system.

-- Imposing rigid constraints on law-enforcing and case-handling activities of public security organs. Efforts shall be made to reform and improve the systems of acceptance and hearing of cases, appraisal of law-enforcement effectiveness, and accountability for mistakes in law-enforcement. Management shall be strengthened of the use of case-handling sites and areas for law enforcement, and improvement shall be made of the IT application in law enforcement for public security bodies.

-- Making greater efforts to investigate and punish government functionaries abusing power to illegally detain people or commit other crimes that infringe upon the rights of the person.

-- Strictly observing the conditions applicable to death penalty. The procedure of checking and verification shall be strengthened for death sentence, and the procedure of oversight over death sentence checking and verification shall be further regularized.

-- Formulating the Law on Detention Houses. The level of legislation for protecting the rights of detainees shall be raised, in addition to enacting related supporting laws, regulations, provisions and rules.

-- Improving the system of examining and approving the necessity of criminal custody. Where custody is deemed unnecessary or unsuitable due to severe illness, the criminal suspects or defendants shall be released or the coercive measures be changed.

-- Enhancing supervision over the duration of criminal custody. Efforts shall be made to prevent and settle prolonged detention of suspects without concluding the case, and strictly implement the systems of changing custody, reporting overdue custody and accountability for detention beyond the legally prescribed time limit.

-- Strictly implementing the rules and regulations on places of surveillance. The mechanism to handle detainees' complaints shall be improved, and channels of right relief be unblocked for them. IT application in relation to procuratorial work shall be strengthened for places of surveillance, and dynamic oversight be realized in such places.

-- Promoting procedure-based enforcement, medical care, management and supervision of compulsory medical treatment, and protecting the rights of those receiving compulsory medical treatment.

-- Implementing the Anti-Drug Law and the Regulations on Drug Rehabilitation. Standard rules shall be implemented for decision-making on compulsory isolation for drug rehabilitation, early termination or extension of the terms of such drug rehabilitation. The effectiveness of medical treatment and rehabilitation in relation to drug addiction shall be improved, and the lawful rights of drug addicts undergoing rehabilitation shall be protected.

(2) Right to fair trial

Following the rule of judicial operation, an adjudication-centered litigation system shall be established, and judicial credibility shall be enhanced.

-- Ensuring the people's courts exercise adjudicative power independently and in accordance with the law. The system that archives leading officials' intervention in judicial activities and in the handling of particular cases shall be improved, making them known to the public, and holding them accountable. The limits of authority at all levels within the judicial bodies shall be clearly defined. The mechanism of internal checks and oversight shall be improved, so shall the recording and accountability systems regarding judicial personnel who intervene in case handling.

-- Standardizing judicial interpretation and case guidance, and unifying the criteria for the application of the law.

-- Implementing the principle of evidentiary adjudication. The principles of testimony and trial in court shall be implemented, so shall the system of court appearance of witnesses and authenticators.

-- Implementing the principle of presumption of innocence, and the rule of exclusion of illegally obtained evidence, and specifying the scope and exclusion procedures of illegal evidence.

-- Enhancing institutional guarantee for lawyers' rights to know, apply and appeal throughout the course of litigation, ensuring their access to criminal suspects or defendants, and rights to review files, collect evidence, raise questions, conduct cross-examinations and debate, and ensuring lawyers exercise their rights of defense and procuration in accordance with the law. The mechanism of valuing lawyers' defense and procuration opinions in investigation, prosecution and trial shall be improved, and the system of listening to their opinions shall be observed. Discriminatory security checks of lawyers are prohibited, in order to provide convenience for them to perform their duties in accordance with the law.

-- Enhancing institutional guarantee for the rights of litigants and other parties involved in the lawsuit to know, present views, debate and defense, apply and appeal, and implementing regulations on legal aid prescribed in the Criminal Procedure Law and related rules and regulations.

-- Improving the practice of leniency to those who confess their crimes and submit to punishment in criminal proceedings. The judicial proceedings, penalty standards and handling means shall be clarified for cases where defendants plead guilty, accept punishment, surrender ill-gotten gains or pay compensation, all of their own accord.

-- Pressing further forward with standardization in meting out punishment, regularizing the judges' sentencing discretion, improving sentencing procedures, and enhancing openness and impartiality in sentencing.

-- Prohibiting defendants who are held in custody or appellants from appearing in court wearing clothing that bear the logo of their organs of custody.

-- Improving the mechanism for fast-track handling of minor criminal cases, and reforming fast-track trial procedures for criminal cases in an orderly manner.

-- Formulating the Law on Assistance for Victims of Crime, and establishing a unified, procedure-based relief system for victims of crime. 

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