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UPDATED: April 10, 2015
China Unveils Roadmap to Judicial, Social Reform

China has rolled out the roadmap to the country's judicial and social reform, setting a timetable and verifiable targets for specific reform measures.

On Thursday, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee's General Office, and the General Office of the State Council published the plan to implement the decisions on deepening judicial and social reform made at the fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held in October 2014.

The implementation plan combed through 84 reform measures raised at the session, assigned each of the 84 tasks to specific organizations, and stipulated the timetable and verifiable results for each reform item.

The plan aims to solve deep-seated problems that impair judicial justice and capacity, and to build a socialist judicial system characterized by justice, high efficiency and authority, among other objectives, according to a circular issued with the plan by the central leading group for deepening judicial reform.

The 84 reform measures are divided into three categories.

In improving judicial justice and credibility, 48 reforms were designed, including litigation reform to prioritize trials, letting judges assume lifelong responsibility for cases they handle and holding them accountable for any miscarriages of justice, as well as improving jury and public supervisor system.

Reform will be carried out to foster a strong team of legal personnel, including improving the professional threshold and encouraging exchanges between legal practitioners and researchers.

According to the timetable, reforms already initiated should achieve "greater progress within this year," including setting up cross-regional courts and procuratorate, as well as circuit courts.

Other reforms that are bound to start and register initial progress by the end of this year include setting up the system to record and report officials' meddling in legal activities, and litigation reform.

Meanwhile, relevant organizations will study and debate over more complex reform measures to be launched in the future.

Various reforms took place after the blueprint of realizing the rule of law was mapped out. Among others, two circuit courts were inaugurated by China's Supreme People's Court early this year, one in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, and the other in Shenyang, capital of northeast Liaoning Province, with the aim to bring justice to the doorsteps of ordinary people.

According to the circular, the implementation plan is a timely follow-up to the blueprint set at the third and fourth plenary sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which demonstrated the central authorities' resolve to advance judicial and social reform, to improve social justice and uphold the people's rights and interests.

(Xinhua News Agency April 9, 2015)

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