▌Procuratorial organs strengthen legal supervision work and advance the rule of law in China
▌On October 19, the third press conference was held by the Press Center for the 20th CPC National Congress. The leading officials from the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) were invited to brief the media on following the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law and advancing the rule of law in China to a higher level. Mr. Tong Jianming, deputy secretary of the Leading Party Members Group of the SPP, first deputy prosecutor general of the SPP, attended the press conference and answered the questions from the media.
▌Since the 18th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has made a series of important instructions on procuratorial work. Last year, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, the CPC Central Committee issued a guideline on strengthening legal supervision work of the people's procuratorates in the new era. Procuratorial organs at all levels have adhered to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, thoroughly studied and implemented Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law, and improved the new pattern of the legal supervision featuring four major functions regarding criminal, civil, administrative, and public interest litigations. Progress has been made in reforming the procuratorial work in the new era in terms of its functions, organizations, and mechanisms, playing a positive role in building a law-based country.
▌The procuratorial organs have maintained severe punishment for serious crimes while also making great efforts to combine punishment with clemency in criminal prosecution and conscientiously implementing the criminal justice policy of making “fewer arrests, prudent prosecution, and cautious detention.” We have ensured the implementation of the sentence bargaining system to improve social harmony. The percentage of pre-prosecution custody of criminal cases has dropped from 69.7% in 2012 to 28.3% in the first nine months of this year. We have handled a series of justifiable defense cases, including the Kunshan case, in an objective and justice manner, showing that “the law will prevail over illegal activities” in order to encourage the citizens to help others for a good cause.
▌In terms of enhancing legal supervision over litigation activities, the SPP has worked with the MPS to establish a mechanism for investigation, supervision, and collaboration, with over 3,600 offices being set up, thereby ensuring effective supervision and better cooperation. From 2013 to September this year, a total of 119,000 protests were filed against criminal, civil, and administrative judgments deemed erroneous. A circuit procuratorial mechanism has been established to improve the supervision over the execution of penalty in prisons.
▌Over the past five years, the procuratorial organs have handled more than 710,000 public-interest litigation cases, with an average of more than 140,000 each year. China has improved legislation concerning public-interest litigation over the past years. In 2017, China revised the Civil Procedure Law and the Criminal Procedure Law, allowing procuratorial organs to lodge public-interest lawsuits in four fields, including environmental and resource protection, food and drug safety, state-owned property protection, and transfer of the use rights of state-owned land. Since 2018, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee has revised and formulated relevant laws, adding eight new fields including the protection of the rights and interests of martyrs, the protection of minors, the protection of honor and reputation of military personnel, workplace safety, personal information protection, anti-monopoly, anti-telecommunication network fraud, and agricultural product quality and safety.