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Chinese courts to deploy more citizen jurors


18:35, May 23, 2013

BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese courts are hoping to double the number of citizen jurors in the next two years, a senior judge said Thursday.

The total number of citizen jurors, also known as people's jurors, will reach 200,000 in 2015, said Shen Deyong, executive vice president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC), at a meeting on the development of the people's juror system.

Courts at all levels are encouraged to deploy more citizen jurors, Shen said.

Jurors should at least outnumber judges but the ratio can vary depending on local conditions, he said.

Busier courts at the lower levels whose jurisdiction encompasses a large geographic area or population should have twice as many jurors as judges, he said.

According to a report submitted by the SPC at the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in March, the number of jurors increased by 52.7 percent to 85,000 from 2007 to 2012.

Selected from citizenry of all walks of life to work with professional judges at lower courts, jurors took part in over 1.49 million cases in 2012, up nearly 300 percent compared to 2007, the report said.

"We will ensure that ordinary citizens account for at least two-thirds of the newly added jurors," he said.

The courts will also provide more training programs for jurors so that they can effectively exercise their duties, he added.

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