Criminal Justice, Excerpted from the 2015 Annual Report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, October 8, 2015   [open pdf - 272KB]

From the Introduction: "Criminal justice was an area of significant concern during the Commission's 2015 reporting year. Chinese authorities introduced discrete reforms that could improve the criminal justice system's fairness and accuracy. The Commission did not observe statistics establishing the impact of reforms from the past reporting year, such as whether they led to a decrease in death sentences or a higher rate of convictions being overturned on appeal. A May 2015 report by an international human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) found that Chinese authorities have failed to fully enforce certain criminal justice reforms introduced in past years, especially measures that provide for excluding suspects' confessions and written statements obtained through torture. Fundamental structural issues--including the dominance of police in the police-procuratorate-court 'iron triangle' and the overriding influence of the Chinese Communist Party--remained impediments to creating a criminal justice system that comports with standards dictated by both Chinese law and international human rights instruments. Although reform-minded individuals both within and outside the government continued to press for reforms furthering the protection of human rights, their ability to bring about meaningful reform was constrained in a political climate that emphasized perpetuating one-party rule at the expense of individual freedoms."

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