English legal system, 2009-2010

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Anyone who coerces confessions out of a suspect by torture, corporal punishment, abuse or insult shall be handled in accordance with the seriousness of the acts and consequences. If the case constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated in accordance with the law. Taking a criminal suspect in custody, changing the place of custody, or extending the term of detention must be carried out in accordance with the law.

Wrongful or prolonged detention shall be prevented. The state will improve the measures of providing economic compensation, legal remedies and rehabilitation to victims. Those who are responsible for illegal, wrongful or prolonged detention shall be subjected to inquiry and punished if found culpable. Every precaution shall be taken in meting out death sentence, and the system of death sentence with a two-year reprieve shall be improved.

Death penalty cases shall be handled in accordance with the relevant articles of the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law. China adheres to the basic principle of legally prescribed punishment for each specified crime, suitable punishment for each crime, criminal law equally applicable to everyone, public trial and statutory procedures. It attaches equal importance to procedural impartiality and substantive impartiality, and guarantees the full execution of litigation rights including the right to defense of criminal suspects and defendants.

China sticks to the principle of public trial for death penalty cases of second instance, so as to ensure the integrity of such cases. Apart from the death sentences given by the Supreme People's Court in accordance with the law, all death sentences must be reported to the Supreme People's Court for review and approval. The People's Procuratorate shall tighten its supervision over death penalty cases in accordance with the law. The state shall rigorously implement a responsibility system in law enforcement, a law enforcement quality evaluation system, a system of accountability for cases mishandled, a system of leadership accountability, and a system of resignation.

In accordance with the law, China punishes unlawful infringements of citizens' personal rights by state functionaries taking advantage of their positions and powers. Judicial officers shall be punished for infringements of citizens' personal rights, such as extracting evidence illegally or by violence, in accordance with the law. The state will improve the legislation concerning prison management and take effective measures to ensure detainees' rights and humanitarian treatment.

The procedures for law enforcement shall be further standardized, so as to ensure that they are rigorous and detailed, and that the legal documents and warrants provided at every stage of law enforcement are authentic, properly kept and documented in files. All interrogation rooms must impose a physical separation between detainees and interrogators. The state establishes and promotes the system of conducting a physical examination of detainees before and after an interrogation. The rules regarding detainees' correspondence, meeting with people, entertainment, and family visits shall be improved.

The state is improving the sanitation management system for detainees as well as their medical treatment, and promoting standardized management of detainees' life and health care. The state will pay attention to individualized education and correction of detainees, popularizing and intensifying education concerning mental health and psychological counseling.

More funds will be made available to improve the environment and conditions for detainees in prisons and detention houses, and to help cover the expenses for daily supplies, overhead, the purchase and wear and tear of equipment, maintenance and other expenditures. Supervision is effectively carried out over law-enforcement activities in prisons and detention houses by providing complaint services letter boxes or telephone numbers , directly meeting leaders of prisons or detention houses, or hiring public supervisors.

For detainees' convenience, complaint letter boxes are set up in their cells, and a detainee may meet the procurator stationed in a prison or detention house by appointment, if the former feels he has been abused and wants to make a complaint. The state, in accordance with the law, guarantees the rights of litigants, especially those charged with criminal offences, to an impartial trial. As for open trial cases, the people's court shall announce, three days before the opening of the session, the summary of the case to be heard in public, the name of the defendant, and the time and place of the court session.

People's courts are required by law to give the reasons for cases that are not tried openly. Citizens with valid certificates may attend any open court session. The parties concerned may, in accordance with the law, consult or duplicate materials documented by the courts. The state also guarantees the personal rights of lawyers and their right to debate or defend when they carry out their duties. In light of relevant rules and actual case situation, the litigation fees shall be lowered by simplifying the procedures and increasing the range and sums of litigation costs that can be deferred, reduced or exempted in accordance with the law.

The state promotes legislative work to provide national assistance to victims of crime, specifying the conditions, standards and procedures for such national assistance.


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It is also expanding the coverage of legal aid and increasing related funding, to extend convenient, rapid and sound legal aid to more poor people. China fully implements the policy of freedom of religious belief, and, in accordance with the law, manages religious affairs and protects citizens' freedom of religious belief. It continues to make necessary investments in the maintenance and reconstruction of temples, mosques and other religious facilities of important historical and cultural value in ethnic-minority areas.

It also encourages and supports religious circles in launching social welfare programs, exploring methods and channels for religions to better serve society and promote the people's well-being. The Chinese government will make more efforts to keep the public informed of government affairs, and improve relevant laws and regulations, so as to guarantee citizens' right of information.

Local regulations concerning how to make known to the public government affairs will be improved. Governments at town and town-ship levels shall make public the implementation of relevant state policies regarding rural work, their revenue and expenditure, and their use of various kinds of special funds. Governments at the county or city levels shall mainly publicize plans about local development, the examination and approval of major projects and their execution, government procurement details, the requisition of lands, demolition of houses and so on.

Provincial governments shall mainly publicize policies and overall plans for local economic and social development, fiscal budget reports and final account reports, and property transactions.

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E-government will be promoted to gradually achieve the goal that governments above the county level and their departments each has a website and most government organs and public institutions each has a hotline. The state will make greater efforts to train spokespersons and news release staff, releasing news in various forms, enhancing the quality of press conferences, releasing government in-formation in a timely, accurate and authoritative manner, so as to increase the transparency of government work and improve the level of information service by the government.

Catalogues of information regarding village affairs to be released to the public will be compiled by county-level organs, so as to make the publicity of village affairs more standardized. The government will expand citizens' participation in political affairs in an orderly way at all levels and in all sectors, so as to guarantee citizens' right to participate. Revisions will be made to the Election Law to improve the election system. Deputies to the people's congresses will be elected according to the same ratio of population in both urban and rural areas; the proportions of deputies from among ethnic minorities, returned overseas Chinese, women, grassroots workers, farmers and migrant workers in the total number of deputies to people's congresses at all levels will be increased appropriately, and the close ties between the deputies and their constituencies will be maintained.

Earnest measures will be taken to ensure that deputies to people's congresses exercise their functions and powers in accordance with the law. The ratio of personages from non-Communist parties and people with no political affiliation holding leadership positions in government departments, particularly principal positions, will be appropriately increased. Respect will be shown to opinions and suggestions raised by people from non-Communist parties and people with no political affiliation at CPPCC meetings, guaranteeing their right to make inspections, take part in investigations and examinations, submit proposals and report social conditions and public opinion.

The amendment of the Organic Law of the Villagers Committee will be pushed ahead, and the level of villagers' self-governance and democratic management enhanced. The coverage of direct elections of urban neighborhood committee members will be expanded, aiming to reach 50 percent by The democratic management system in enterprises and public institutions, with workers' conferences as its basic form, will be improved; the workers and staff are encouraged to share part of the management duties, and their legitimate rights and interests are safeguarded.


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  5. Exploration shall be made for new methods and approaches by which neighborhood and social organizations in urban areas participate in neighborhood management and services, and the existing forms of social participation in urban communal affairs, including democratic hearing and coordination meetings, shall be improved. Effective methods and approaches shall be explored to let the floating population participate in residents' self-governance in the neighborhoods they usually live in.

    In principle, public opinions will be solicited when laws, regulations or public policies which are closely related to the interests of the people are formulated. Institution building will be promoted for holding public hearings on the legislation of important laws and regulations, soliciting public opinions for the formulation of major policies and measures, and holding expert consultation or third-party verification when making decisions over major issues.

    The channels will be broadened to support mass organizations to participate in social management and public services, so as to protect the people's legitimate rights and interests. The government will earnestly solicit opinions from the mass organizations when formulating relevant laws, regulations and public policies. Revisions will be made to the Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations, Interim Regulations on the Registration and Management of Private Non-enterprise Entities, and Regulations on the Management of Foundations to ensure social organizations conduct activities in accordance with the law and their respective charters.

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    The government encourages social organizations to participate in social management and public services, encourages the establishment of private non-enterprise entities in the fields of education, science and technology, culture, health care, sports and public welfare. It gives play to the social functions of social organizations such as industry associations, societies, and chambers of commerce, and develops and standardizes all kinds of foundations to promote programs for the public good.

    The state will take effective measures to develop the press and publications industry and ensure that all channels are unblocked to guarantee citizens' right to be heard. The government will continue to push forward the reform and development of television stations, radio stations, the Internet and the newspaper industry. Efforts will be made to reach the goal of 1, people having 90 daily newspapers and every family having 0. The amendment of the Regulations on the Administration of Publications will be launched, and the responsibility of people's governments at all levels in protecting legal publications will be clearly spelled out.

    The government will research and draft the Regulations on Copyright Protection of Folk Literature and Artistic Works, and improve the legislation and systems regarding the guarantee of radio and television transmission, and motion pictures.

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    People's governments at all levels, when formulating major laws, regulations and public policies, will solicit opinions and comments from social organizations. Industry associations and chambers of commerce will solicit suggestions from their respective trades and enterprises; learned societies and research societies will study the demands of the common people; foundations and organizations of a public welfare nature will report to authorities the appeals and demands of the underprivileged; and neighborhood organizations in both urban and rural areas will get to know social conditions and public opinions better.

    All these measures are aimed at guiding people to express their opinions in a reasonable way and participate in public affairs in an orderly way. The government will open up different channels, including Green Post, special telephone lines, online complaints and agencies, to ensure that the people can voice their petitions by letter, fax, e-mail or other written forms. A nationwide complaint information system will be built, a state-level office to deal with complaints set up, and a system to solicit suggestions from the people established and improved, so as to make it convenient for the people to voice their petitions, report problems and offer suggestions.

    We will persist in the system that Party and government leaders read letters from the people and make comments or issue instructions on them and receive visitors on a regular basis. Efforts will be made to improve the system in which Party and government leaders, deputies to Party congresses, deputies to people's congresses and CPPCC members take the initiative to contact people who make complaints through letters and visits, so as to safeguard the people's legitimate rights and interests.


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    The state will improve laws and regulations, and explore scientific and effective approaches to improve the mechanism of restraint and supervision, and guarantee the people's right of democratic supervision. In the period , the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress will hold hearings and deliberate on reports of the State Council concerning the building of the rural social security system and efforts to improve employment and reemployment; and reports of the Supreme People's Court on strengthening enforcement of court rulings in civil cases, and special reports of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on strengthening inspection of malfeasance and other work.

    It will continue to strengthen examination and supervision of plans for national economic and social development, and of budgets and final accounts. It will earnestly organize for inspection on the enforcement of the Trade Union Law, Stock-breeding Law, the Law on Food Safety and other laws, do a good job in the follow-up and supervision of any suggestions proposed in inspection reports on the enforcement of the Labor Contract Law, Compulsory Education Law, Law on the Protection of Minors and other laws. It will also strengthen examination and supervision regarding whether normative documents conform to the Constitution and laws.

    Full play will be given to the role of CPPCC bills and proposals in democratic supervision, and government departments concerned shall handle them seriously, and give formal replies without delay.

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    The special supervisor system will be further improved to strengthen supervision over administrative organs and their functionaries. The state will explore and experiment with the special examiner system to supervise, together with other forms of supervision, court operation and judicial officers in terms of trial style, style of work, professional ethics, honesty and self-discipline.

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    The state will explore and experiment with the special inspector system, reform and improve the people's supervisor system, and supervise procuratorial organs, together with other forms of supervision. Supervision over principal leading cadres will be earnestly strengthened to ensure the correct exercise of power. Full play will be given to the role of administrative supervision to resolutely stop unhealthy practices that hurt the fundamental interest of the public, and effective measures will be taken to deal with major issues that cause strong public resentment. In the period , China will take further measures to protect the rights and interests of ethnic minorities, women, children, elderly people and the disabled.

    China is a unified country composed of 56 ethnic groups identified and acknowledged by the central government. The 55 minority ethnic groups - Han Chinese not included - have a total population of In China, all ethnic groups are equal, and the state protects the lawful rights and interests of ethnic minorities. The state will expedite the formulating of ancillary regulations that promote the implementation of the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy. The state will make sure that all the 55 minority ethnic groups have their representatives in the National People's Congress, with at least one representative for any ethnic group with a very small population.

    Any minority ethnic group with a population of more than 1 million is guaranteed to have a member on the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The state will continue to guarantee that among the chairman and vice-chairmen of the standing committee of the people's congress of an autonomous area there shall be one or more citizens of the ethnic group or groups exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned, and that the head of an autonomous region, autonomous prefecture or autonomous county shall be a citizen of the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned.