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Advisor: China needs to axe number of judges, but improve professionalism
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14:11, March 09, 2008

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A Chinese political advisor urged Sunday the country's courts to trim the scale of their judge contingent while raising the standard of professionalism.

Meanwhile, courts should increase salary and improve welfare for high-calibre judges who have been frequently reported to resign and become high-income lawyers, said Wu Zhengde, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the China Democratic League.

"Currently, a number of judges do not have an adequate educational background and are not up to the professional standard," said Wu at the ongoing session of the 11th National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body.

He cited that statistics from judicial authorities in southwest China's Sichuan Province that judges account for 54.8 percent of the total number of courts staff, but only 2 percent of the judges hold a master degree in law, nearly half of them do not have a bachelor degree.

Apart from that, Chinese courts have always been troubled by the lack of fund, which "exerts a negative effect on fairness of the court," said Wu, also chairman of the CPPCC Sichuan Provincial Committee.

In addition, Chinese judges should keep to the principle of independent trial all the time in a bid to ensure fairness in the country's judicial system, he said.

"Judges should be loyal only to laws and obedient only to laws," he said.

There are a total of 180,000 judges in China and nearly 300 million staff working in courts.

Source: Xinhua

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