China's courts to diversify jury pool

14:42, May 17, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Outspoken, honest, and trustworthy -- these are among a list of criteria as lower courts around China started to pick a new five-year-term jurors this year. In addition, more will not be Communist Party or government officials.

In a bid to improve the jury system, which is in its fifth year of reform, China will implement stricter juror selection rules and continue to diversify the jury pool, the country's senior court officials said.

About 54,000 people will be selected for a "pool" of juror candidates this month, in a process that has taken place every three years since 2005. After the retiring batch replaced, China will have roughly 80,000 jurors, taking part in criminal and civil cases at lower courts.

"We need jurors who can speak out for justice. And we need jurors of different ages, ethnicities, and from different sectors," Zhou Zemin, head of the political department of the Supreme People's Court, told Xinhua at a judicial seminar in the southeastern Fujian Province over the weekend.

China started to widen the use of jury trials five years ago. Under the current system, jurors can sit on a panel of three with professional judges and exercise almost equal power.

Unlike their British and American counterparts who decide matters of fact only, Chinese jurors decide on both factual and legal issues. But in practice, inexperienced jurors commonly take a back seat and stay silent while professional judges arbitrate cases.

Officials say the jury reform has made strides, but imminent problems need to be solved, juror pools being one.

【1】 【2】


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 26, a resident passes by a flower terrace decorated for the coming National Day. (Xinhua/Hang Xingwei)
  • The photo, taken on Sept. 26, shows the SWAT team ready for the joint exercise. (Xinhua/Wangkai)
  • Two metro trains in Shanghai collided Tuesday afternoon, and an identified number of passengers were injured in the accident, the Shanghai-based reported. Equipment failures were believed to have caused the crash on the Line 10 subway, Xinhua quoted local subway operator as saying.
  • An employee at a gold store in Yiwu, located in east China's Zhejiang province, shows gold jewelry on Monday.(Xinhua/Zhang Jiancheng)
  • Tourists ride camels near China's largest desert lake Hongjiannao in Yulin, north China's Shaanx Province, Sept. 24, 2011. Hongjiannao is shrinking as a result of climate change and human activities, and may vanish in a few decades. Its lake area, which measured more than 6,700 hectares in 1996, has shrunk to 4,180 hectares. Its water level is declining by 20-30 centimeters annually and its water PH value has risen to 9.0-9.42 from 7.4-7.8. (Xinhua/Liu Yu)
  • Actors perform royal dance at the Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony commemorating the 38th South Korea Sightseeing Day was held in Gyeongbok Palace on Tuesday. (Xinhua/He Lulu)
Hot Forum Discussion