International Assistance to Criminal Justice Reforms in China: An Observation since 1995

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1 The International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy International Assistance to Criminal Justice Reforms in China: An Observation since 1995 Vincent Yang, Ph.D. Professor of Law

2 The Rule of Law as an Entry Point for All observation of China law projects implemented by international donors Ford Foundation the 1 st pioneer in the field criminal procedure/justice reforms, legal aid, women s rights, clinical education, etc Canada/CIDA criminal justice, legal aid, criminal defense, human rights, judge training, procuratorial reform, judicial reform Other bilateral - Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK UNDP criminal justice reforms, legal aid training, anti-corruption, civil society, and gender equality (CEDAW etc) EU rule of law, human rights, governance The EU-China Network for the Ratification and Implementation of International Covenants EU/UNDP Governance for Equitable Development (New) Other regional ADB, Asia Foundation, etc Others universities (Temple U), law schools (NYU Law School), NGOs (IBJ), etc.

3 The Europe-China School of Law (EU contribution EUR 18.2 million) Objectives: knowledge sharing and networking To improve the understanding of the Chinese legal profession of European and international law, and will help European professionals, academics and students to widen their knowledge of o Chinese law and legal practice. To create durable links between Chinese and European legal professionals. Model: from governments to legal professionals The European Commission will work with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Commerce to establish the School, which will be run as a not-for for-profit partnership between a group of leading European academic institutions and one or more leading Chinese academic institutions. Impact: legal professionals, laws, legal culture, business, etc

4 ICCLR s CIDA-Funded China Projects China Criminal Justice Cooperation Project (Phase I and II, ) Development of Legal Aid System in China Project ( ) Canada/China Cooperation Project for the Ratification and Implementation of Human Rights Covenants ( ) 2002) Implementation of International Standards in Criminal Justice in China Project (IISCJP, 2003-June 2007) Canada/China Procuratorate Reform cooperation Project (CCPRCP, with GeoSpatial/SALASAN Consulting, ) 2007)

5 Statistics since 1995 Over 15 sets of research-based well-recognized legislative and policy reform recommendations Over 150 seminars, lectures, workshops, conferences, study tours, consultation sessions Over 10,000 Chinese justice officials, judges, prosecutors, police officers, correction officers, legal aid lawyers, law professors and university students Over 50,000 copies of books distributed to national and local law and justice agencies, law schools and research institutes in China

6 Main Results Since 1995 Well-respected legislative recommendations re ratification and implementation of ICCPR Reform of the Law of Criminal Procedure Criminal law reforms Legislative development for the creation of a legal aid system Creation of a community corrections system Teaching/training materials for law students, prosecutors, justice officials and legal aid workers Legislative recommendations re implementation of UNTOC and UNCAC Dialogues on court/procuratorate procuratorate/justice reforms and networking for cooperation in justice

7 Focus of IISCJP Implementing International Standards ICCPR standards focus on legal rights in criminal justice UNTOC and UNCAC standards focus on international cooperation UN standards on corrections focus on community corrections

8 Key Chinese Partner Organizations and Their National and Intl Networks 1. Centre for Criminal Law and Justice (Research College of Procedural Laws) at CUPSL Research Society of Procedural Laws, CLS Consultation between CCLJ/RCPL and SPC/SPP/NPC Exchange with Ford, EU, UNDP, OHCHR and 12 countries 2. Research College of Criminal Jurisprudence at BNU Research Society of Criminal Law, CLS Consultation between CCLJ/RCPL and SPC/SPP/MOPS/MOJ/MOF and NPC China Branch of the International Association of Penal Law Exchange with 12 countries 3. China Prison Society, CLS The Prison Bureau, MOJ and local justice bureaus Exchange with Hong Kong and 3 countries

9 Impacts I: Criminal Procedure Reform Development of legislative and policy options in major publications of comparative and investigative research finding on fair trial standards in Development of consensus through conferences, workshops, seminars and consultations The 2006 CCLJ Recommendations on re-amending the LCP The 2007 NPC Legislative Agenda to amend the LCP Forthcoming release of Recommendations on Implementing the UNTOC and UNCAC

10 Impacts II: Reform of the Criminal Law Death penalty reform development of options to prevent wrongful execution and to reduce the use of death penalty recent SPP decisions to change the death sentence appeal and approval procedures Labor re-education education reform development of options renewed NPC legislative agenda re the Law on Treatment of Illegal Behaviors The UNTOC and UNCAC development of options on criminalization, prevention and international cooperation upcoming release of 2 major joint publications of recommendations

11 Impacts III: Reform of Correction System Focus on developing community corrections Development of models for community corrections Creation and Expansion of Pilot Community Corrections in 16 provinces in China in Encouraging more early releases from prisons Introduction and initial sharing of concepts on offender risk assessment in Forthcoming release of two publications in 2007 for the sharing of practical experience

12 Current Issues in Implementing International Standards in Criminal Justice (1) Selected Key Issues in Re-amending the LCP 1. Pre-Trial Procedures - right to remain silent, access to lawyer, prevention of torture, remedies to victims of arbitrary detention, diversion and restorative justice, investigation of corruption and TOC cases 2. Trial Procedures - full recognition of presumption of innocence, independent and impartial court, examination and cross examination of witnesses, exclusion of illegally obtained evidence 3. Others - death sentence review, remedies for wrongful convictions, victimv ictim s protection

13 Current Issues in Implementing International Standards in Criminal Justice (2) Selected Key Issues in Criminal Law Reforms 1. Reduction of capital offences and death sentences 2. Reform of labor re-education education 3. Combating corruption punishment and prevention 4. Combating transnational organized crime 5. International cooperation in criminal justice extradition, MLAT, etc 6. Protection of women and children

14 Realistic Prospects for Further Results in the Next Years Ratification of ICCPR in 2008 with less than 3 reservations Incorporation of most ICCPR standards re minimum safeguards of procedural rights in the LCP in Reduced use of death penalty starting in 2007 Major reform to labor reeducation in Systematic initiatives to implement UNTOC and UNCAC standards through law and system reforms Expansion of community corrections nationwide by 2010 Creation of new institutions, focused research initiatives, and massive training and education programs Changing attitude and practice of justice agencies and public culture in favor of transition to the rule of law

15 Acknowledgement Many Canadian organizations and their experts contributed to the success of ICCLR s China Projects, including: Federal departments and agencies: Department of Justice; SolGen/Department of Public Safety and Emergent Response; RCMP; DFAIT; CSC and NPB BCAG; Continuing Legal Education Society of BC; BC Criminal Justice Society SFU School of Criminology; UBC law School; UVic Law School and U of T Law School Legal aid societies and law firms Various police departments NGOs and other organizations Thank you!

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