Chinese courts to go on "striking hard" serious crimes: chief judge 03-10-2004 17:11

Chinese courts in 2004 will adhere to the principle of "striking hard", or a relentless crackdown, in handling grave criminal offenses to safeguard national security, social stability and the safety of the people's lives and property, Chief Justice Xiao Yang said in Beijing on Mar.10.

"The courts shall help create a social environment of long-term stability for the building of a well-off society in an all-round way," said Xiao, president of the Supreme People's Court, while reporting the work of the Chinese courts to the ongoing full session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

In an apparent response to the proposed Constitutional amendments, which are expected to be approved at the end of the 10-day NPC session, Xiao pledged in his report that the courts would "respect and safeguard human rights" and "protect the citizens' right to private property ownership and right of inheritance according to law" in trial practices in 2004.

The draft Constitutional amendments, presented to the national legislature on Mar.8, include clauses like "The State respects and safeguards human rights" and "Legally-obtained private property rights of the citizens shall not be violated."

Special attention should be paid to cases involving disputes caused by the demolition of urban residential housing and expropriation of rural farmland, impairment of workers' interests in the retooling of enterprises, defaulted payment of wages, and pollution of the environment, Xiao noted.

The courts shall also play an active role in safeguarding the country's financial security, protecting the growth of non-public economic sectors, maintaining a sound market economic order and ensuring fair market competitions, he added.

The top judge also pledged intensified efforts to accelerate the reform of courts and further improve judicial justice in an effort to "raise judicial efficiency" and "maintain judicial authority".

In 2004, China will strive to strengthen its judicial ranks, and courts at all levels will carry out activities to foster their "fairness image" with focus placed on the "building of clean courts" and "expel any judges who abuse their judicial power or ask for and take bribes," with severe punishment meted out indiscriminatingly to those judges who violate the laws, said Xiao.

Editor:Wang  Source:Xinhua News Agency

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