China mulls revisions to laws on judges, prosecutors

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-22 14:48:37|Editor: Xiang Bo
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BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature Friday began discussing two draft revisions to laws on judges and prosecutors to legislate on judicial reforms.

The draft revisions were given a first reading at the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which runs until Dec. 27.

Compared with the current law, the draft revision to the Judges Law adds stipulations about the establishment of selection committees responsible for examining the professional competence of judge candidates in the Supreme People's Court (SPC) and the provincial-level areas.

The draft raises the professional threshold for judges, requiring at least five years of legal practice. Under the current law, those holding master's or doctorate degrees are allowed to be recruited as judges after just one year of legal practice.

Meanwhile, the draft revision tightens supervision over judges, as committees must be set up in the SPC and provincial-level regions to punish judges for wrong decisions with serious consequences, as a result of negligence or deliberate breach of laws and regulations.

Judges are banned from working part time in profit-making organizations, but are allowed to teach or research part-time in institutions of higher education or research after being approved.

Those who have had their certificates of notary or law practice revoked will be forbidden from serving as a judge for life.

According to the draft revision to the prosecutors law, a similar selection mechanism for prosecutors has been introduced. It states that committees should be established to select prosecutors in the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) and provincial-level areas.

Moreover, the draft encourages prosecutors to be selected from lawyers, legal scholars and others to practice law.

To strengthen the supervision over prosecutors, the draft revision stipulates that punishment committees should be set up in the SPP and provincial-level regions.

KEY WORDS: judicial reforms