Chinese Scholar Reviews Possible Changes to PRC Criminal Procedure Law

February 10, 2005

According to an article in the Legal Daily, Beijing University Law Professor Chen Ruihua recently revealed that pending revisions to the Criminal Procedure Law may guarantee the right of defense lawyers to be present when prosecutors interrogate a criminal suspect. Chen reportedly indicated that the next round of revisions would also address the problem of extended detention, expand the right of victims to initiate private prosecutions, and enhance guarantees for the right of criminal defendants to defense attorneys.

A November 2004 piece in the English-language Beijing Review discusses current problems in Chinese criminal procedure and some of the prospective changes in greater detail. The article acknowledges that, "the powers of police and judicial organs are not effectively limited and restricted on detention of the suspects." It then highlights the need for lawyer access to clients during the investigation phase as a protection against torture, a halt to the practice of using testimony from witnesses who do not appear in court, and enhanced legal aid.