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Xi pledges reform to ensure independent, fair judicial system

President Xi Jinping warned of serious problems in China's judicial system and pledged reforms to remove judicial injustice, in a document published in Beijing Tuesday.

The document offered explanation of the new legal reforms delivered at the Fourth Plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, held last week.

It quoted the president as saying the country's judicial system is troubled by unfair trials and corrupt judges.

Xi denounced judges and prosecutors who manipulate cases in exchange of money and favors. "Some even go two ways by draining both the defendant and the plaintiff," he said.

The reason for these problems is a judicial system that is not effective and complete, he said.

"The judicial system is the last defense for social justice," he said. "If it fails, people will widely question (the country's ability to realize) social justice and stability will hardly be maintained."

According to Xi, the reform plan has included measures to ensure the independence of the court and prosecutors.

According to the legal reform plan also published in full on Tuesday, the country will adopt rules to monitor senior Party and government officials' intervention in court cases, publish their bad records and hold them responsible.

It bans Party and government officials from asking judical departments to break their duty and sabotage justice, and forbids judicial departments to take such orders from them.

Officials who intervene in law enforcement will be punished in line with Party and administrative disciplines and face criminal charges if their conduct causes serious problems such as wrongful convictions.

The reform also includes new rules to regulate the exchange between judges and related parties and their lawyers.

It has pledged to remove any "unspoken rules" in the judicial system, eliminates bending the law in return of money and favor, bans privilege and brutality of law enforcement.

According to the plan, courts are encouraged to take in cases against government departments and governments will be pressed to appear on court.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 28Oct14]

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