Leading group for the judicial system reforms meets in Beijing

The Leading group for the judicial system reforms (中央司法体制改革领导小组) met today in Beijing.

The meeting stressed the need to strengthen the Centre's control on reforms devised by localities.

A communique issued by the Leading group listed a number of reforms adopted since 2004, and some data:

  1. legislation on the death penalty was revised. Now the Supreme People's Court approval is required for all sentences.
  2. The instances of overtime detention (超期羁押) allegedly dropped from 4.974 in 2004 to 210 in 2006.
  3. The escape rate from re-education through labour camps and reform through labour camps allegedly dropped. However no figures were provided by news agencies. The length of sentences was reduced. There has been an increases in those cases when a sentence is served outside of labour camps (所外执行, suowai zhixing)
  4. The recidival rates in 25 provinces allegedly dropped to 0.21%
  5. Growth in the number of judicial personnel and law enforcers
  6. A quota has been set for the amount of funds to be allocated to political-legal organs.
  7. All interrogations of crime suspects must be recorded (cases of corruption only)
  8. Number of people's assessors (人民陪审员) in 2006: 55.681
  9. Court litigation fees dropped by 60%.
  10. Number of recipients of legal aid in 2005 - 2006: 393.271, (125.290 of them were peasants)
  11. Simplified procedure was used in 38.87% of criminal cases, and in 71.26% of civil cases. In 2006, mediation was used to solve 4.000.000 disputes

The meeting was chaired by the 72-years old Luo Gan. Luo will almost certainly step down at the next Congress. He may be replaced by Zhou Yongkang