China issues rules to clean up courts after conviction of top judge

19:05, January 27, 2010      

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In an effort to prevent abuse of judicial power and fight corruption, China's Supreme People's Court issued a new regulation Wednesday to list a great number of restrictions against court staff, ranging from taking bribery to committing adultery with litigants.

The move came after Huang Songyou, former SPC vice president was sentenced on Jan. 19 to life imprisonment for taking bribes and embezzlement. Huang was convicted of taking more than 3.9 million yuan (about 574,000 U.S. dollars) in bribes from 2005 to 2008.

The regulation stipulates that judiciary staff will be punished if they are found meddling and intervening court cases, giving bribes to law enforcement personnel, beating or verbally abusing petitioners and over-running timetables to enforce court rulings.

Judiciary staff will receive punishments ranging from demerits on their records, demotion, removal from posts and dismissal, according to the regulation.

Since 1991, the SPC had mapped out different regulations to punish judiciary staff for discipline violations, but some of them overlapped and some had already become outdated, according a discipline official with the SPC.

The regulation prohibits judiciary staff from tipping off or asking favors for litigants.

Judiciary staff are restricted from leaving the Chinese mainland without authorization, prolonging visits or obtaining permanent residence permits in areas outside the mainland without authorization, or acquiring foreign nationality without permission.

Judiciary staff will be punished if they commit adultery or have sexual relations with litigants or relatives of litigants, according to the regulation.

They are also banned from intentionally prolonging, or refusing to enforce court rulings, and forcing litigants to withdraw lawsuits, receiving intermediation or reconciliation terms that would hurt litigants' interests.

Source: Xinhua
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