China plans to give 'people's assessors' bigger role in court

Xinhua
A second draft of a law on "people's assessors" was submitted to China's legislature for review on Wednesday, suggesting to grant assessors a bigger role in court.
Xinhua

A second draft of a law on "people's assessors" was submitted to China's legislature for review on Wednesday, suggesting to grant assessors a bigger role in court.

It recognizes that the assessors "have equal rights" as professional judges in trials, unless the law specifically provides otherwise. The assessors are also allowed to participate in legal proceedings in which the death penalty is possible and other cases with "severe social impacts," according to the draft.

The draft was first submitted to the National People's Congress Standing Committee last December. The legislation was based on an NPC Standing Committee decision in 2004 to improve the use of people's assessors and a pilot program in 10 provincial-level regions starting in 2015.

The ongoing bimonthly legislative session will run until Friday.

After revisions, the draft is relatively mature and the NPC Constitution and Law Committee has suggested putting it to vote at this session, said a committee report read to the lawmakers.

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