Lawmakers call for expansion of criminal default judgment scope

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-24 00:21:58|Editor: Liangyu
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Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, attends panel discussions during a bimonthly session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 23, 2018. Panel discussions were held to review a draft amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law, draft revisions to the People's Courts Organic Law and the People's Procuratorates Organic Law, and etc.. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Lawmakers on Tuesday called for expansion of the scope of a proposed criminal default judgment mechanism during panel discussions at the ongoing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, participated in the discussion.

According to a draft amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law, a trial of default can proceed in corruption-related criminal cases, as well as in serious cases endangering state security and terrorist activities that have been examined and approved by the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) and need to be judged in a timely manner. "The scope is too narrow and should be expanded to cover other serious crimes including drug-related offenses and telecom fraud," said Li Wei, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, adding that the special requirements of default judgment must be met to safeguard the rights of the defendants. Peng Bo, another lawmaker, also highlighted the need to charge suspects who have fled overseas in drug-related and fraud-related cases.

During the discussion, lawmakers also called for improvements in legal aid for defendants and compensation of mental health damages for victims in criminal proceedings.

They also agreed that the draft revisions to the organic laws of the people's courts and the people's procuratorates are in line with the requirement of the judicial reform, and are ready to be voted upon during this week's session.