Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

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Sunday, October 9, 2005

More independence for courts: a straw in the wind?

An interesting article recently appeared on the People's Daily website stating that the dependence of local procuratorates upon local government for finances would be "thoroughly reformed" within three years: the goal is to have all financing come from the central or the provincial governments. This is one of a series of reforms announced in the Opinion on the Three-Year Implementation of Further Reforms in the Procuratorate (关于进一步深化检察改革的三年实施意见) issued by the Supreme People's Procuratorate month.

Many Chinese and foreign analysts of the Chinese legal system have long called for similar reforms to the system of court financing as a way of enhancing the independence of courts from local political powerholders. As the procuratorate is administratively analogous to the court system, what can be done in the former can be done in the latter. The significance of this reform for courts will not likely be lost on those who would change the system.

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