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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 7: Conclusion

Jue Jiang

Extract

This book has examined ‘criminal reconciliation’ () as a ‘new’ criminal process. There are three main findings.First, at the level of institutional design according to statutory law and official regulations, the roles given to officials in the Public Security Bureaus, the procuratorates and the courts, parties, and lawyers (in the relatively rare cases in which they are involved) in the process of criminal reconciliation are different when compared to their roles in the normal criminal process.The procedure of criminal reconciliation designed in the local regulations and guidelines, and now in Articles 277 to 279 of the 2012 CPL, suggests that criminal reconciliation is intended to be a non-adversarial process. Criminal reconciliation is supposed to be based primarily on communication between the parties, and to take place only once a suspect or defendant has admitted guilt, so that the principle that the guilt of the suspect can be determined only through a trial, which is supposed to play a dominant role in the ordinary criminal process, can be abandoned. Since the premise of criminal reconciliation is the suspect’s/defendant’s admission of guilt, education and correction of this ‘guilty’ participant become the focus of the reconciliation process. The criminal reconciliation procedure purports to give the parties a dominant role in the criminal reconciliation process, and officials are expected to respect the voluntary nature of their participation. Special rules purportedly imposing restrictions on public power under the more adversarial ordinary process do not apply in criminal reconciliation, since the officials are supposed to be secondary...

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