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Criminal Procedure Law to be amended(13/10/04)

   China will amend its Criminal Procedural Law, including the contents concerning procedure for review of death sentences and custody system in accordance with the spirit of the newly-revised Constitution and some newly-signed international conventions.

    The information was released by Huang Songyou, vice-president of the Chinese Supreme People's Court, on the 2004 annual conference of the China Law Society which was held in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province. He said the amendment of Criminal Procedure Law has been listed into the legislature plan of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC).

    Enacted in 1979, China's Criminal Procedural Law was given a major overhaul in 1996.

    China needs to revise the law on a large scale again, because it has signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights since 1996 and has enshrined a human rights clause into the Constitution, noted Huang.

    According to the current Criminal Procedure Law, death sentencecases shall be submitted to the Supreme People's Court for review and approval. However, in most cases, the Supreme People's Court reviewed death penalty cases merely through reading written reports, but did not try the case at all.

    Huang claimed that the law will be revised to reform the death penalty review procedure. In future, the Supreme People's Court will review death penalty cases by trying the accused.

    According to Huang, revision will also be made to rule out the possibility of illegally-prolonged custody.


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