Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Human Rights Better Protected in Administering Justice

Chinese people's courts have over the past five years paid special attention to protecting human rights in the area of administering justice, said Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court.


Chinese people's courts have over the past five years paid special attention to protecting human rights in the area of administering justice, said Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court.

Delivering a report on the work of the Supreme People's Court to the first session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC) Tuesday morning, the chief justice said the people's courts in the country have paid meticulous attention to establishing facts, evidence, procedures and applicable laws in handling different cases and declared not guilty 11,651 defendants in cases of private prosecution and 17,870 defendants in case of public prosecution.

The people's courts followed the principles of education, reform and redemption in handling juvenile cases, awarding probation as much as possible to under aged people who committed minor offenses that would no longer bring harms to the society so as to encourage them to repent and correct, Xiao said.

Meanwhile, Xiao said, Chinese courts have been very careful in handling administrative cases, seeing to it that the lawful rights and interests of litigants are protected and administrative agencies comply with laws in perform their duties.

Xiao said that the people's courts closed 464,689 administrative cases, 65 percent more than in the previous five years and handled 11,321 cases claiming for state compensation and judgments were given to 4,013 cases in favor of citizens, accounting for 35 percent, making wronged citizens get due judicial relief.

According to the chief justice, people's courts have tried every means to bring the judicial assistance system to perfection.They allowed a grace period in the payment of charges or waive the charges for litigants in difficulty, especially women, old people, underaged people, disabled people and laid-off workers claiming for alimony, endowments, social benefits and old age pension in litigation cases. For defendants of publicly prosecuted cases, the courts appointed lawyers for them to ensure the protection of their rights.

The courts provided judicial assistance to 590,000 cases over the past five years, involving 3.2 billion yuan, according to Xiao.

Foreign-related cases rising
Xiao Yang said that the people's courts across the country have over the past five years tried and closed a total of 26,399 foreign-related cases, averaging an annual growth of four percent.

"With the development of China's reform and opening-up, especially after China has become a WTO member, the number of foreign-related cases has been on the rise," said Xiao.

In handling foreign-related cases, Xiao said, the Chinese courts have strictly applied laws of China, honor the international conventions, treaties and agreements to which China is a signatory party and exercised to the full the jurisdiction of courts, providing equal protection to the rights and interests of different parties litigant, said Xiao.

The Chinese courts have also paid close attention to cases involving intellectual property rights (IPR) including infringements of copyright, trademark right and patent right in the development of new plant species, commercial secrets, computer software and networks. They closed 23,636 such cases over the past five years, 40 percent more than in the previous five years, Xiao said.

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