Not so very long after the products of China’s Third Plenum left many of those hoping for more overt court reform wanting, the Supreme People’s Court has released its own opinion on preventing wrongful cases, which encapsulates and reinforces much of what the Court has been saying since new president ZHOU Qiang took office in March this year. Judicial Independence, procedural justice, and the exclusion of illegally acquired evidence are all prominently featured.
This walkthrough will guide you through it.
This is not your Zhou Yongkang’s Political-Legal Commission. Following the ongoing discussion of the role of cops, procs and courts in preventing wrongful convictions, the political legal commission has apparently issued a guiding opinion weighing in on the matter. Will it be more successful in stopping wrongful convictions and police abuse than, well, the laws have been? Time will tell, but this is a promising sign of commitment to reform.
Shen Deyong continues to push the Zhou Qiang court’s commitment to the presumption of innocence, and strict requirements of evidence in both sentencing and adjudication. Calling on the courts to work together with police and procuratorates to raise the quality of evidence gathering, presentation, debate and acceptance, and to recognize the equal and legitimate role that defense attorneys play in this process.