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

Jue Jiang

Extract

In Chapter 3, the practice of criminal reconciliation designed according to local regulations or guidelines in Changzhou, Chongqing and Xi’an was described based upon the documents enclosed in the case files and the extent that these practices were in compliance with the procedures was analysed. Nevertheless, case files could only show the practice as described ‘on paper’ and from an official perspective which might be skewed towards a favourable picture. Further investigation seemed both justified and indeed necessary to gain a complete understanding.Because of deficiencies involved in the case file examination, further inquiry necessarily involved the utilization of other research methods. One obvious way was to interview people who had experience of this programme, especially the parties (the victim and suspect/defendant of the criminal reconciliation case concerned). Their feelings and comments on this programme were important to answering the questions raised by the case file examination.In addition, the process of criminal reconciliation as described by them might be different from the one shown in the case files.

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