Criminal Reconciliation in Contemporary China

Criminal Reconciliation in Contemporary China

An Empirical and Analytical Enquiry

Jue Jiang

Criminal reconciliation, a special procedure stipulated in PRC’s 2013 Criminal Procedure Law, allows the alleged perpetrators and victims of certain crimes to resolve criminal cases through reconciliation or mediation. Based on empirical studies on pilot practices of this mechanism in three cities in China, this book argues that criminal reconciliation enables abuses of power and infringement of the parties’ access to justice. This programme further throws light on certain fundamental problems with the wider criminal justice system.

Chapter 4: The process of criminal reconciliation programmes: evidence from interviews

Jue Jiang

Subjects: law - academic, asian law, law and society


Based on the interviewees’ accounts, this chapter depicts a picture of criminal reconciliation different from what the case files have shown. Interviews show that serious violations of the official procedures occurred in all the four stages of this programme, namely, initiation, criminal reconciliation meeting, official decision and follow-up programmes. These violations have not only violated the vital principles of criminal reconciliation, such as voluntariness, but also impaired the parties’ rights protected in the law, such as presumption of innocence. Moreover, some violations, for instance, the prosecutors or judges added compulsory pre-requirements like local household registration (hukou) or the ability to pay monetary compensation as prerequisites for initiating this programme, or clauses impeding the parties’ rights to appeal in the reconciliation agreements, have further obstructed the parties’ access to justice and caused unfairness.

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