SPC President Xiao Yang Demands both Government for the People and a Judiciary for the People; Pushes Structural Reform of the Judiciary

October 13, 2004

In this statement, Xiao Yang, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, interprets the Fourth Plenum’s recent “Decision on Strengthening the Party’s Governing Capacity” for application to the judiciary. Xiao Yang urges the courts to press ahead on judicial reform to enable them to achieve independence according to law. He calls on the courts to perfect court procedures, including the open trial system, the system of people’s assessors (Xiao Yang calls this “judicial democracy”) and the enforcement of judgments. Finally he sums up the necessary reform as a way to raise the judiciary’s authority and, as a result, the Party’s authority. Xiao Yang weaves the ideas of a strong and independent judiciary and Party leadership into a causal chain without explaining the links, saying “The Constitution and laws are maintained by the Party and express the people’s will, therefore the more the judiciary faithfully follows the law, the more it will be able to independently apply the law, the more it will be able to insist on Party leadership and government according to law, and the more it will be able to realize government for the people and a judiciary for the people.”