Top China Judge Says Time For More Transparency In The System

This is positive let’s hope that somebody listens and it’s not decided that he be locked up


The Washington Times reports…..


BEIJING ? More reforms are needed for China?s judicial system to overcome lingering problems with transparency and corrupt judges, the country?s top judge said Sunday.

Supreme People’s Court President Wang Shengjun said in his annual report to the National People?s Congress, China’s parliament, that the court will work to create a better legal environment to protect economic and social development and will deepen judicial reform in 2012.

?Some courts have not done well in improving transparency of court affairs and promoting a democratic judicial system,? Mr. Wang said in delivering the report to an audience that included China?s top leaders.

He criticized some judges for poor working styles that delayed hearings, adding that a small number of judges were found to have taken bribes.

This year, the Supreme Court will work to reform court procedures to speed up proceedings of civil cases involving small sums of money and improve rules allowing citizens to observe trials, he said.

How much Mr. Wang?s call translates into action is not known. China?s courts do not operate independently of the ruling Communist Party.

Politically sensitive and high-profile cases are often decided behind the scenes by special committees. Legal reformers say the current government of President Hu Jintao has undermined the rule of law by promoting a campaign that says the party and people?s interests must be placed above the letter of the law.

The public and media are often kept out of the courts, especially for any sort of politically sensitive trial. Lawyers representing human rights activists and others who have upset the government often complain that basic defense rights are ignored.

Mr. Wang said courts should make more efforts in accepting supervision from the general public, including soliciting opinions from the public and giving more heed to media reports.

He said that last year, 77 judges and court staff were prosecuted for embezzlement, bribery or other crimes connected to their work, a 30 percent drop from the year before.

Mr. Wang said Chinese courts concluded 69,000 cases covering major crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, planting bombs and human trafficking, sending about 105,000 criminals to jail.

The Supreme Court must sign off on all death sentences handed down by lower-level courts, but, as in previous reports, Mr. Wang did not give a figure for the number of executions in China last year.

Official statistics on executions are considered state secrets, but the Dui Hua Foundation, a U.S.-based human rights group, estimates that China put 5,000 people to death in 2009.