Renmin Chinese Law Review
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Renmin Chinese Law Review

Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 6

Edited by Jichun Shi

Renmin Chinese Law Review, Volume 6 is the sixth work in a series of annual volumes on contemporary Chinese law which bring together the work of well-known scholars from China, offering an insight into current legal research in China.
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Chapter 8: Judge accountability and reform of the judicial accountability system in China

Zhou Changjun


In the judicial practice of the past, judge accountability was in a mess. The nature of judge accountability should be “adjudication accountability”, or “judicial wrongs accountability”. The basic principles for the construction of the judge accountability system should include the following: strict mistrial accountability, abolition of petition accountability, efficiency-bound disciplinary accountability, and unified legislation of judge accountability. Besides, duality and two-tiered criteria for judge accountability should be established, and an exemption system of judge accountability should be constructed through the combination of macroscopic aspects and microcosmic aspects. The provisions concerning judge accountability in the Opinions on Improving the Judicial Accountability System of the People’s Court are improper in definition and in coverage range. The norms for discipline violation accountability and illegal execution accountability are missing, while the criteria for judge accountability are not clear. A comprehensive and structurally rational system for judge accountability has not been constructed. Therefore, it is difficult to effectively correct the practical issues in the imputation of judge accountability. It is legitimate to enact a unified Judge Disciplinary Law.

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