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Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 23:01
China unveils 5-year plan to deepen procuratorial reform
By Xinhua
Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 23:01 By Xinhua

BEIJING - China's Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) has unveiled a five-year plan for deepening procuratorial reform in a bid to ensure that procuratorates can fully perform their functions.

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The enforcement of judicial accountability has been highlighted in the reform plan for the period between 2018 and 2022

Despite remarkable progress achieved so far, there is still a way to go to comprehensively implement the judicial reform, said an unidentified official with the SPP, adding that procuratorates as a whole cannot adapt themselves to new tasks and requirements under new circumstances.

The enforcement of judicial accountability has been highlighted in the reform plan for the period between 2018 and 2022. Prosecutors should take responsibility for the cases they deal with, it noted.

The plan stressed giving full play to cases management platforms so the whole process of handling cases by prosecutors can be supervised.

READ MORE: Chinese procuratorates to reform to adapt to supervision system

It also called for efforts to improve transparency of procuratorates and strengthen public supervision over law enforcement.

The plan has also rolled out a host of measures to promote legal supervision.

The SPP will establish specialized agencies for criminal cases and implement a new mechanism to allow the same department to handle both the arrest and prosecution processes of criminal cases.

The old mechanism lowers efficiency because one department handles the arrest process and another department has to learn about the case all over again when it handles the prosecution process.  

Better protection of minors

New measures unveiled on Tuesday will ensure better judicial protection of minors.

The SPP will standardize an integrated working mechanism encompassing the arrest, prosecution, investigation and prevention of juvenile crime.

The SPP plans to explore criteria for dealing with juvenile delinquents according to the severity of the crime rather than age.

The SPP plans to explore criteria for dealing with juvenile delinquents according to the severity of the crime rather than age.

Education for juvenile delinquents should be enhanced to prevent recidivism, according to an SPP statement.

Education for minors accused of misconduct and those who are on the brink of crime will be strengthened as well, while family education will also be developed.

For juvenile victims, the SPP is going to promote a "one-stop" inquiry and legal aid mechanism.

In addition, an information database for criminals committing sexual assault against minors and a system for inquiry upon their employment will also be established.

Amid China's latest efforts to better protect minors, a department specializing in juvenile cases was set up by the SPP.

More efficient public interest litigation system

The SPP also aimed to make its procuratorial network more efficient in dealing with public interest litigations.

As part of a five-year reform plan, the SPP ordered procuratorates to give full play to the role of pre-suit procedure by smoothing communication with administrative agencies, offering procuratorial suggestions, and coordinating related parties for implementation.

Efforts should also be made to improve coordination among procuratorates, courts and administrative law enforcement organs, it read.

The SPP plans to introduce platforms to better link public interest litigation with administrative law enforcement, and standardize methods of handling public interest litigation cases.

Meanwhile, the SPP will explore a mechanism for hiring or consulting experts from administrative agencies for prosecutors who are dealing with litigation cases involving environmental protection or food or drug safety.

China's top legislature passed the revised civil and administrative procedure laws in June 2017 to allow prosecutors nationwide to institute public interest litigation.

The reform aims to better protect the interests of the nation and the public, especially in the protection of the environment and resources, and food safety.  


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