Skip to main content

China's Supreme People's Court Rejects Western-style Judicial Independence

As Xi Jinping tightens control over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), further restricts freedom of speech and revives Marxist and Maoist ideology, the judicial system, too, is undergoing a conservative counter-reformation aimed at strengthening the role of the Party and excluding possible reforms inspired by the judicial system of liberal countries. 

According to China News, on February 25 the Party leadership group of the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China released a statement stressing that the country must preserve "the judicial system of socialism with Chinese characteristics" (中国特色社会主义司法制度). At the same time, it strongly rejected what it described as "Western judicial independence and the separation of powers" (西方“司法独立”、“三权鼎立”). The Supreme People's Court said that the judicial system must "resolutely resist the influence of wrong Western thought and wrong Western viewpoints."

On February 10 the Supreme People's Court had convened a meeting of the Party leadership group in order to study and thoroughly understand Xi Jinping's speeches regarding "the methodology and world outlook of dialectical materialism" and of Marxism. The meeting was presided by the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court Zhou Qiang (周强) and Grand Justice Shen Deyong (沈德咏). The Court also invited Han Qingxiang (韩庆祥), the current vice-president of the Central Party School of the Communist Party

The study group emphasized that it will "steadfastly follow the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics." It stated that it will implement the principles of "comprehensively building a moderately affluent society", "comprehensively deepening reform", "comprehensively ruling the country according to the law" (依法治国) and "comprehensively strictly govern the Party and providing powerful judicial guarantees". The resolution of the study group of the Supreme Court echoes Xi Jinping recently announced "four comprehensives", a list of four major theoretical principles that will guide China's future institutional and economic development. 

The Court issued a strong statement against the adoption of a liberal judicial system, which it described as "Western". It promised to "unrelentingly strengthen the self-confidence in the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, in our principles and in our system ... and resolutely resist the influence of Western principles such as 'judicial independence' and 'the separation of powers' [legislative, executive and judicial], to reject wrong Western thought and wrong Western viewpoints, and to ensure a completely clear-headed approach to matters of principle, a completely steadfast standpoint, and a completely clear-cut stand."  

Xi Jinping's increasingly authoritarian and ideological style of government therefore rules out the long-awaited reform of the judicial system in the direction of judicial independence. 

As Randall Peerenboom has pointed out, "a judiciary that is independent, competent, and enjoys sufficient powers to resolve disputes fairly and impartially" is the prerequisite for the establishment of rule of law. "China's judiciary," argues Peerenboom, "falls short on each of these three dimensions." (see Randall Peerenboom: China's Long March toward Rule of Law, 2002, p. 280). 

In theory the PRC Constitution provides that the courts shall "exercise judicial power independently and are not subject to interference by administrative organs, public organizations or individuals."

However, in practice the courts cannot be independent because, according to Article 128 of the PRC Constitution,  the "Supreme People's Court is responsible to the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. Local people's courts at various levels are responsible to the organs of state power, which created them." 

Courts are therefore subject to Party control and supervision. Not surprisingly, the members of the Supreme People's Court, such as the Chief Justice and Grand Justice of First Rank, are also members of the Communist Party. 


Popular posts from this blog

Will The Huawei Case Finally Awaken Democrats To The China Threat And The Danger Of Faux Free Trade Rhetoric?

On January 28 the Department of Justice of the United States unsealed two cases against Huawei, China's largest telecommunications company, and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. 
Huawei has been accused of trying to steal trade secrets, committing bank fraud, breaking confidentiality agreements and violating sanctions against Iran. One indictment claims that Huawei attempted to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile by promising bonuses to employees who collected confidential information.
Huawei is not a company like any other. Over the years it has benefited enormously from the support of the Chinese Communist regime. The founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, joined China's army during the Cultural Revolution. In 1978 he also joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
In the early years Huawei's sources of capital were high-interest loans (20%-30%) from Chinese state-owned enterprises. Ren also secured soft loans from the local government of Shenzhen thanks to his personal co…

Chinese Dissident Zhang Jilin Detained By Police In Chongqing After Calling On Xi Jinping To Resign

Chinese dissident Zhang Jilin (张吉林) has been detained by police in the city of Chongqing after publicly saying that President Xi Jinping should be removed from office.
According to Taiwan-based Apple Daily, on January 17 Zhang talked about China's current affairs on a WeChat group. His ideas received praise from the group members, and he later told friends that he wanted to give a public speech based on the thoughts he had expressed online.
Other dissidents urged him to be careful, but he insisted that he had "the right to free speech." On January 19 Zhang went to Guanyinqiao Square, in the city of Chongqing, and delivered a speech about China's political situation, calling on Xi Jinping to be removed from office.
"I think it's time for Xi Jinping to be removed from office," Zhang told a crowd according to an audio recording. "The Chinese Communist Party will not do anything to the people. If you don't believe me, look, I have been giving a speech…

Quali sono i valori di sinistra? Alcune riflessioni

Mi capita a volte di avere dibattiti sui valori di sinistra con persone di diversi colori politici. Spesso, però, mi sembra che ci sia confusione sul loro significato. Ho dunque deciso di spiegare brevemente quali siano, secondo me, i valori di sinistra, e di delineare alcune politiche economiche per metterli in pratica.

1) democrazia parlamentare, diritti umani, separazione dei poteri, Stato di diritto;

2) progresso economico e sociale a beneficio della maggioranza dei cittadini, e non solo di una minoranza;

3) difesa del lavoro e della dignità dei lavoratori;

4) Stato sociale;

5) economia di mercato mista;

6) commercio equo.

Quali politiche secondo me dovrebbe sostenere la sinistra?

1) difesa dei diritti e del potere contrattuale dei lavoratori;

2) salario minimo;

3) mantenimento e, dove necessario, miglioramento del reddito di cittadinanza;

4) creazione di un sistema di gare pubbliche per imprenditori, e selezione tramite voto popolare di aziende da sovvenzionare con denaro pubblic…