Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Thursday, May 19, 2016

Commentary: It is Unreasonable to Compensate 24-hour Wronged Jail Time with 8-Hour Salary

(People's Daily Online)    05:54, May 19, 2016

Supreme People’s Court of China

On May 16, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China and the Supreme People’s Court of China jointly announced to execute the new compensation standard of 242.3 yuan (37.04 USD) per day, seeing a 22.58 yuan (3.45 USD) increase compared to that of last year.

The increase was made in accordance to the laws. “If freedom of the person of a citizen is infringed, compensatory payment for each day shall be assessed in accordance with the State average daily pay of staff and workers in the previous year,” according to Article 33 of State Compensation Law of the People's Republic of China said. The new adjustment is in accordance with the 63,241 yuan (9,674.46 USD) average annual salary of employers in non-private institutions, figures published by National Bureau of Statistics of China on May 13, 2015.

The core value of the Rule of Law lies in human rights. When the most fundamental right of personal liberty is infringed in prosecution of criminal acts due to the miscarriage of justice by law enforcement agencies, decent compensation should be given to the wrongly convicted. This is the inevitable result of logic in context of modern laws by which human rights are respected and guaranteed.

Ever since the decrement of State Compensation, the standard for compensation has been raised from the 17.87 yuan (2.72 USD) per day in 1995 to currently 242.3 yuan (37.04 USD) per day, seeing a 13 times increase in the past 20 years. It is in the continuously rising compensation standards that the function and purpose of state compensation are gradually realized.

In recent years, with the intensified efforts to right the wrongful verdicts, the compensation amounts in some cases have been exposed to public concern. Recently, Hanan Provincial Higher People’s Court has reached agreement on compensation with Chen Man, who was acquitted due to a lack of evidence after 20 years in prison. The court was to pay Chen a state compensation of 2.75 billion yuan (420,700 USD), which has so far been the highest amount of state compensation paid in China.

Chen Man

However, China’s state compensation system is yet to be perfected. One concern of the public is: Is it reasonable to quantify the standard of state compensation with daily salary of employers? Is it appropriate to equalize the loss of personal liberty for 24 hours to a day job of 8 hours? With the daily increased emphasis on citizen rights and values, the legislation has to respond to the question of “substituting compensation fee for employers’ salary”, and, tallying with the Chinese context, to make improvement in accordance to the tide of the Rule of Law.


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