From the Chinese Press

Updated: 2013-11-06 07:07

(China Daily)

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Judicial independence fundamental

Ahead of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the Supreme People's Court has recently released a document which calls for resolute implementation of judicial independence and resistance to all forms of local and departmental interference. This shows the importance China attaches to reiteration of judicial independence, but at the same time it also reveals that it has yet to be fully guaranteed, says an article in Beijing Times. Excerpts:

Although different countries have difference judicial systems consistent with their respective national conditions, judicial independence is universally acknowledged because it is the premise and the bottom line to guarantee justice.

The United Nation's Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary stipulates that judicial independence is the rudimentary requirement for all member states. All countries have to ensure the independence of their judicial authorities and judicial independence must be built into the constitution and laws.

In practice, however, judicial authority enjoys equal status to political authority on the one hand, while on the other, it is subjected beneath political power. Sometimes, due to the reliance on local finances and local human resources, cases of extrajudicial disturbances on verdicts are not uncommon.

With people's increasing awareness of safeguarding one's legal rights through judicial means, citizens, governments and social groups all take their disputes to the courts, with the confidence that judiciary can play a vital role in promoting social justice. It's high time to put an end to extrajudicial interference during judicial process to promote social justice.

'Clean pension' will not stop corruption

A clean governance allowance will only be effective on the basis of a comprehensive mechanism against corruption, and other supporting reforms, such as changes to the evaluation system, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

Recently, the State Council's Development Research Center released a series of reform policies, dubbed the "383" reform plan, which is expected to be submitted to the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. One of the proposals in the plan, establishing a clean governance allowance, has sparked heated discussions.

A pension for clean governance will increase the risks of being corrupt because officials will only be able to claim this money after retirement if they are to be found to have no record of corruption throughout their careers.

With the public yet to have confidence in the crackdown on corruption, some argue that compared to the potential gray income they might get, the clean governance allowance is too little to act as a counterbalance to prevent corruptive behavior.

The public still holds the view that civil servants, albeit they earn mediocre salaries, already enjoy exclusive pensions, healthcare and welfare compared with other walks of life. So they argue that the clean governance allowance would be no more than a new way to increase public officials' welfare.

In fact, the gray incomes of public servants have been exaggerated by some people. In order to eliminate misunderstandings and to promote better communication between officials and the public, carrying out reforms to enforce officials to disclose their personal properties would be a better place to start.

(China Daily 11/06/2013 page9)