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China improves criminal justice system to promote human rights protection, rule of law: white paper


13:37, October 27, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- China has been improving its criminal justice system to promote human rights protection and the rule of law, says a white paper issued on Thursday by the Chinese government.

By the end of August 2011 China had enacted the Criminal Law and eight amendments to it, according to the white paper titled "The Socialist System of Laws with Chinese Characteristics."

The Criminal Law defines clearly these basic principles: punishment of crimes is defined by law, everyone is equal before the law, and punishment should match the severity of the crime, says the white paper issued by the Information Office of the State Council.

The Criminal Law defines various types of crime and types of punishment, including public surveillance, criminal detention, fixed-term imprisonment, life imprisonment and the death penalty. It also includes three accessory penalties - fine, deprivation of political rights and confiscation of property.

In the light of the actual situation brought about by economic and social development, China promptly revises and interprets its Criminal Law in an effort to improve the criminal legal system, it says.

Amendment VIII to the Criminal Law, passed in February 2011, made major revisions of the previous Criminal Law. It eliminates capital punishment for 13 non-violent economic-related offences, thus reducing the number of crimes subject to the death penalty by 19.1 percent, the white paper says.


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