During his first address as Premier on Sunday, Li Keqiang vowed to reform the rule of law under the Communist Party. The pledge came after one fifth of officials at the rubber stamp parliament rejected the work report by China’s Supreme People’s Court.
[Chen Yongmaio, Lawyer, Chinese Constitutional Law Expert]:
“The judiciary should be the last line of defense of justice. Overall, the NPC representatives have expressed their disapproval of the judiciary and its level of corruption.”
Out of the almost 3,000 people who voted on the resolution, more than 600 objected. That’s the highest number of “No” votes out of the six resolutions voted on during the day.
On paper, China is ruled under a constitution, and a comprehensive set of laws. But in practice, human rights activists say, the reality is very different.
[Li Xiangyang, Lawyer]
“As a human rights lawyer, I understand how corrupt China’s judiciary is. Wrongful rulings have become the norm. In the lower level courts, I’d say up to 90% of the judgements are illegally or wrongfully made.”
China’s internal security, police, prosecution and judiciary organs are all controlled by the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee.
Observers have blamed the unchecked expansion of the PLAC's power for degrading the rule of law and increasing accounts of human rights abuses over the past decade.
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