Comparative Perspectives on Criminal Justice in China
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Comparative Perspectives on Criminal Justice in China

Edited by Mike McConville and Eva Pils

Comparative Perspectives on Criminal Justice in China is an anthology of chapters on the contemporary criminal justice system in mainland China, bringing together the work of recognised scholars from China and around the world.
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Chapter 7: Research on independent sentencing procedures

Chen Weidong


In recent years, reforms on sentencing procedure, under the active promotion of the Supreme People’s Court, have become a significant movement towards court and judicial reform and criminal procedure reform. A series of official reform opinions and papers have repeatedly emphasized the importance of reforming sentencing procedure. In its Second Five-Year Reform Programme, the Supreme People’s Court recommended ‘strengthening and perfecting the relatively independent sentencing procedure’. In Document No. 19 issued by the Chinese Communist Party’s Political and Legislative Affairs Committee at the end of 2008, a new round of tasks relating to the judicial system once again included reforms to sentencing procedures. In March 2009, the Supreme People’s Court published its Third Five-Year Reform Programme, which explicitly calls for ‘standardizing judicial discretion and bringing sentencing within the ambit of trial procedure’. On 1 June 2009 a pilot project on sentencing procedure reform was launched in more than 100 courts throughout China. In the context of the central government’s new round of judicial reforms up to the present, sentencing procedure reforms stand out in terms of pace and smooth progress.

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