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China strives to protect judicial staff from interference, harm

Updated: Jul 30,2016 9:42 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China introduced rules to better protect judicial staff, to ensure that judges and prosecutors execute their duties justly and independently, according to an official statement.

The rules, endorsed by the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform in April and issued recently, are a significance step in the overall advancement of the rule of law, according to a statement released by the leading group on July 28.

The rules address issues faced by judicial staff, including interested parties that attempt to influence decision-making; the outdated internal evaluation system; the accountability procedure, which lacks external supervision; and attacks and retribution against judges.

Any organization or individual, not limited to Party and government officials, will be held accountable if they interfere in judicial activities.

Also, the circumstances and procedures regarding reassignment, demotion or dismissal of judicial staff were outlined to protect upright judges or prosecutors from being arbitrarily reassigned or punished for standing their ground.

Measures were also introduced to accurately determine accountability and ensure judicial staff are protected, the statement said.

To this end, a mechanism has been built to deal with falsified accusations against judicial staff, whereby courts, the procuratorate and police have been tasked with addressing rumors that defame judges or prosecutors.

In terms of protecting judicial staff, anyone who threatens, retaliates, insults, defames or harms judicial staff or their relatives will be severely punished.

Protection of the personal information of judicial staff and their families will also be improved, according to the statement.

In order to ensure effective enforcement, government organizations and their staff, no matter their power or rank, will be held accountable if they disrupt the judicial process, violate judges and prosecutors’ rights and interests, or retaliate in anyway against judicial staff.

The same holds true if their dereliction of duty or abuse of power damages the rights and interests of judicial staff and their families.

Heads of the government agencies, together with those directly responsible, will all be held accountable, the statement said.