Top justice slams critics of Chinese ‘judicial independence’ concept

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/16 21:08:40

China's top justice said comments inspired by the Western concept of judicial independence undermine China's political system, following reactions to a statement he made that courts must not fall into the "Western trap" of judicial independence.

A speech made by Supreme People's Court (SPC) President Zhou Qiang on Saturday that courts must resist the wrong ideology from the West and not fall into its trap has sparked controversy, with many debating the concept of judicial independence.

One of five posts by the SPC on Sunday on its Sina Weibo account said, "when Zhou's speech was released, those who said that 'if there is no judicial independence, there is no justice' misrepresented his speech."

"Many comments on 'judicial independence' aim to import the West's judicial concept and undermine China's political system. But Zhou only meant to reiterate the spirit of China's Constitution," the post said.

It explained that the CPC leadership, political power and system, enshrined in the Constitution, are at the core of the Constitution. Though chosen by the National People's Congress, there is no clash with the independent powers of judicial organs. 

Under China's Constitution, administrative and judicial power cannot be independent and equal to the People's Congress, which is totally different from the US concept of separation of powers, where the judicial branch is independent of the executive and legislative branches of government, the SPC posted on its Sina Weibo account.

"China's judicial organs can be considered the 'People's Court' and enjoy independent judicial rights only under CPC leadership," the top justice wrote.

What Zhou said is clear, that the notion of judicial independence is a Western concept of separation of powers, which is how many lawyers and experts misinterpreted it, Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times on Monday.

Su added that China's top justice supports courts exercising independent judicial rights in accordance with the rule of law.

Posted in: LAW

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