Judicature Is a Reliable Guarantee for Human Rights
September 12,2014   By:CSHRS

Li Xiao

“Respecting and ensuring human rights” has been included in the General Provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law in an amendment to the law after the term was written into the Constitution, and has been specified as an important task of the Criminal Procedure Law. As the final guarantee for the implementation of the principle of “respecting and ensuring human rights,” the People’s Courts pay much attention to human rights protection in the field of justice. During fair and effective judicatory work for years, the People’s Courts have constantly strengthened the judicial guarantee of human rights, gradually improved particular systems involving evidence, defense, investigation measures, compulsory measures, court proceedings and so forth. By doing so, they have further effectively constrained and regulated the exercise of the state’s criminal jurisdiction, strengthened the guarantee of the rights of litigants, especially criminal suspects and defendants, and effectively guaranteed human rights.

1. The People’s Courts Have Adopted Effective Measures to Constantly Improve Human Rights Protection in the Judicial Field

The Supreme People’s Court has formulated by law judicial documents regarding public trials, the challenge system, time limits for case hearings and execution, judicial relief, compensation for mental damage, state compensation and so on, and specified in detail the judicatory rules that the People’s Courts shall observe and the various litigation rights that litigants shall enjoy. In criminal lawsuits, the People’s Courts have adopted effective measures to guarantee litigants’ litigation rights, restrain and prevent extortion of confession by torture, regulate the procedure of exclusion of illegally obtained evidence, strictly control and prudently apply the death penalty, ensure procedural justice in death penalty cases, guarantee the legal rights and interests of juvenile defendants, improve the state compensation system, and establish a legal relief system for victims. The People’s Courts have practically carried out various measures for the promotion and protection of human rights.

1) Protection of the Litigation Rights of Defendants

The Practical Protection of Defendants’ Rights to Defense. On December 25, 2012, the Supreme People’s Court promulgated The Supreme People’s Court’s Interpretation on the Application of the PRC Criminal Procedure Law (hereafter Interpretation), which has further improved the guarantee of the right to defense, specified particular circumstances in which legal relief shall be provided for a defendant and related work procedures. In death penalty cases, the Interpretation has especially stipulated that the High People’s Courts should review death penalty cases, and that where a defendant does not engage an attorney, the courts shall inform a legal relief organization to assign a lawyer to provide defense for the defendant.

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