Post-2013 Reforms of the Chinese Courts and Criminal Procedure: An Introduction
Björn Ahl (ed.), Chinese Courts and Criminal Procedure: Post-2013 Reforms, Cambridge University Press 2021, 1-28
27 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2020 Last revised: 22 Jul 2021
Date Written: July 9, 2020
This is the introductory chapter of an edited volume which combines a wide range of analytical perspectives and themes in order to investigate questions that link institutional changes within the court system and legal environment with developments in criminal procedure law. The chapter begins with a review of the literature on post-2013 legal institutional reforms before turning to the context and content of procedural law changes and court reforms. It then discusses the role of the SPC as an initiator of criminal procedure amendments and promoter of legal institutional reform. The most significant change in the judicial structure, that caused by the introduction of the supervision commissions, is examined from the perspective of ongoing court reforms and the balance of power amongst the various actors within the judiciary. The chapter then turns to the criminal procedure law reforms enacted in 2012 and 2018, discussing the new mechanism of pre-trial detention, the criminal justice reform goal of ‘trial-centredness’ and criminal reconciliation in public prosecution cases. As the contextual factors of criminal trials often have a decisive impact on the trial outcome, such factors as performance evaluations of courts and judges and media scrutiny of criminal cases are subsequently analysed. Finally, the chapter concludes with a summary of the key issues and findings of the volume as a whole.
Keywords: Chinese Law, Court Reforms, Criminal Procedure, Post-2103 Reforms
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