Chief justice, top prosecutor deliver work reports 03-11-2004 09:38

In his annual report, Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court, pushed for reform within the legal system by streamlining the judiciary and promoting both fairness and efficiency. Meanwhile, Jia Chunwang, procurator-general, pledged to step up investigative efforts into corruption cases.

The applause was loud and clear as the chief justice made his way up to the podium, though there was as much to celebrate in his all-important report.

Xiao Yang commended the Supreme People's Court for fulfilling its responsibilities, adding praise for a recently implemented system to curb the extended detention of over 7,000 suspects.

That said, he made clear that all is not well.

Xiao Yang said, "The people's complaints about difficulties in gaining access to judicial departments are loud. Injustice and inefficiency in judicial work has still to be resolved."

He said that the Supreme People's Court must improve its existing jury system, strengthen the role of the collegiate bench and step up its efforts to discipline judges.

Priority tasks, he continued, are the handling of legal disputes related to land requisition as well as salaries for rural workers.

Last year, the Supreme People's Procuratorate investigated some 18,000 corruption cases which led to the successful prosecution of over 2,700 government employees.

With such large numbers involved, civilian supervisors are being drafted to strengthen manpower.

Jia Chunwang, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said, "The prosecution office is required to listen to opinions of the supervisors before making any decisions. The new policy will be tried in 10 provinces first and is designed to enhance transparency within the judiciary system."

As for the future, Jia Chunwang said his office will expand staff training as it actively tightens the noose on corrupt government functionaries.

The work reports of the chief justice and top prosecutor are still subject to approval by the NPC, when it concludes its session on March 14. With social justice and anti-corruption high on the public agenda, the two reports are expected to come under heavy scrutiny by NPC deputies and CPPCC members.


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