Friday, May 29, 2015Friday, May 29, 2015

With legal reforms, China wants less interfering, fewer death penalty crimes

Published on Mar 9, 2014 3:01 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China has curtailed the power of the ruling Communist Party's Political and Legal Committee, a secretive body overseeing the security services, to interfere in most legal cases, scholars with knowledge of the situation said - a significant reform at a time of public discontent over miscarriages of justice.

The move, which has not been made public by the party but has been announced in internal meetings, would clip the wings of the party's highest authority on judicial and security matters.

Interference from the committee has led to many wrongful convictions, many of which have been widely reported in the press and even highlighted by President Xi Jinping as an issue that needs to be urgently addressed.

Part of a package of legal reforms, the move signals a willingness by Mr Xi's government to reform its court system as long as it doesn't threaten the party's overall control.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!