The Chinese government has issued a ground-breaking white paper on judicial reform, including potential reforms to the country’s re-education through labour (REL) system, according to Xinhua.
The white paper, the first of its kind issued by Chinese government, said the ultimate purpose of the judicial reforms is to maintain social fairness, justice and human rights protections.
“China’s judicial reforms are aimed at strengthening judicial organs’ capability to maintain social justice by optimizing the structure of the judicial organs and the allocation of their functions and power, standardizing judicial acts, improving judicial proceedings and enhancing judicial democracy and legal supervision,” it says.
In terms of protecting human rights, effective measures are being taken to deter and prohibit the obtainment of confessions through torture, better protect the rights of criminal suspects and defendants and protect attorneys’ rights to exercise their duties. Measures are also being taken to strictly control and prudently apply the death penalty.
Pilot reform schemes were launched last month in Nanjing, Lanzhou, Zhengzhou, and Jinan. The current system of re-education through labour has been criticized by the Supreme People’s Court of China as well as numerous international human rights groups.
Read the white paper in full.