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Criminal Reconciliation in Contemporary China

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.
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Chapter 3: Criminal reconciliation in practice: evidence from official case files

Jue Jiang


In 2008 and 2010, the author conducted empirical studies in the People’s Procuratorates and People’s Courts in three selected places in China, namely: Changzhou in Jiangsu province, Chongqing Municipality, and Xi’an in Shaanxi province. The empirical studies involve two steps, first, an examination of case files, and then interviews with prosecutors, judges, lawyers, as well as the parties and other people participating in the criminal reconciliation programmes. This chapter discusses the background, the deficiencies and the findings of case file examinations. With statistics, case examples, and official documents obtained in the fieldwork, it details the procedure and operation of criminal reconciliation in practice, examines the achievements and failures of the officially alleged aims, and points out the necessity of interviews in order to have a full picture of this programme, as these case files may very likely be ‘the best examples’ selected by the officials.

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