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Applause to Progress
China's Criminal Procedure Law Amendment recently passed in the Fifth Session of the 11th National People's Congress. It is the first time that China has included a clause "to respect and protect human rights" outside the Constitution
Major Amendment
Improving China's Criminal Procedure Law should help to ensure accurate and timely ascertainment of facts about crimes, correct application of the law, punishment of criminals and protection of the innocent against being investigated for criminal responsibility, respect and safeguard human rights, and protect procedural rights and other legitimate rights and interests of the people
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Refining the Laws on Procedure
China starts to amend the country's three major procedural laws—the Criminal Procedure Law, the Civil Procedure Law and the Administrative Procedure Law
Improving the Legal System
China still faces the arduous task in building a more developed legal system to meet the requirement of society at a medium level of development
Highlights of the Amendment
Safeguarding human rights: It is a significant step in carrying through the principles of the Constitution. Prohibiting self-incrimination: It is the judicial department's duty to prove whether a person is guilty, instead of coercing a confession out of the suspect. Restricting torture for testimony: Illegally obtained evidence shall be excluded from legal proceedings. Prohibiting "secret arrest": Improvement shall be made in the conditions for arrest and the procedure for the people's procuratorate. Rights of lawyers: The rights of lawyers in meeting with suspects, referring to records and entering the criminal procedure shall be safeguarded. Limiting power: The amendment limits the power of the police and procuratorate. Reviewing and approval of death penalty: The amendment strengthens provisions on public trial and clarifies the scope of public trial during the second instance.
Opinions on the Amendment
From last August to September, 7,489 people raised 80,953 opinions, of which 49,922 approved of the draft, accounting for 61.7 percent; 17,178 proposed suggestions for revision, accounting for 21.2 percent
Evolution of the Criminal Procedure Law
In 1979, China promulgated the Criminal Procedure Law, which took effect on January 1, 1980.In 1996, the first amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law stated "no person shall be found guilty without being judged as such by a people's court according to law."In 2012, the second amendment included respecting and safeguarding human rights into the law.
Legal System Improved, Challenges Ahead
National People's Congress Legal Affairs Briefing
NPC Amends Criminal Procedure Law
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