Everyone is responsible for rule of law

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-8 0:33:04

A conference chaired by Meng Jianzhu, head of the CPC Political and Legal Affairs Commission, yesterday revealed that in 2013 there is to be a priority placed on reforms to the re-education through labor system as well as reforms to petitions, the use of judicial power and household registration. These four reforms are all related to areas where public has expressed the most dissatisfaction in recent years.

The importance of the rule of law is already firmly accepted in China. With the decreasing authority wielded by officials, the rule of law is no longer just a dream. Instead, it is a key demand of China's reality. This process is unstoppable.

However, the overall legal environment in China is still unsatisfactory. Precisely because of this, there are vacuums in practical social governance. Neither officials nor the law works in certain disputed areas.

The absolute authority of laws should be established step by step, then officials will be the instrument of the legal system. It is overly simplistic to say that it is officials who prevent laws from working. Officials represent a small proportion of China's huge population. If all the ordinary people in China trusted in laws and respected them, how could officials abuse these laws?

Generally speaking, both officials and the public are increasingly attaching importance to laws. China's public opinion has made officials responsible for re-education through labor and petitions change their working style.

China's judicial reform process is being sped up. This is true not only in terms of an increasing output of legislation, real actions have been done to promote strict law enforcement and combat the tendency to bend the law for selfish ends. There is no doubt that our government is determined to promote the rule of law.

People also have the strong desire to make China a country under the rule of law, which is clearly reflected in public opinion. But in a country under the rule of law, every person's role is relatively more important and complex. Each person has more responsibility in these circumstances.

Is everyone well prepared for this? Be they officials or the public, the answer is "perhaps not." In past years, China's governance has focused more on "authority."

Although Chinese society's concepts of the rule of law are growing, most of these concepts come from books and media reports instead of beliefs from personal experience.

The rule of law requires all of society's will as well as an attitude that "it starts with me." We need many major cases and opportunities to repeatedly strengthen it, and it has to be built through long-term efforts. The steps involved in comprehensively constructing a country ruled by law are a facet of China's modernization.

The conference has already set ambitious objectives for 2013. This target is closely related to everyone in China. We cannot be bystanders or make frivolous accusations. Instead, we should contribute.

Posted in: Editorial

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