Full Text: Judicial Reform in China

IV. Enhancing Judicial Capabilities

Improving judicial capabilities is an important goal of China's judicial reform. In recent years, China has continuously improved its qualification system for the legal profession, strengthened occupational and ethical training, and improved its funding guarantee, thus effectively improving judicial capabilities and laying a solid foundation for enhancing the public credibility of the judiciary.

Implementing a unified national judicial examination system. China has established and constantly improved its national judicial examination system by incorporating qualification examinations for junior judges, junior prosecutors, lawyers and notaries. The national judicial examination system for access to the legal profession plays an important role in regulating qualifications for legal personnel, improving the overall quality of judicial staff and promoting the professionalism of legal personnel. Since 2002, the national judicial examination has been held annually. Organized and implemented nationwide, it has evolved into a unified system for access to the legal profession. By the end of 2011, nearly 500,000 people had passed the national judicial examination and were qualified to work in the field of law.

Establishing a tiered law-enforcement qualification examination system for the police. To enhance the capabilities of its police officers, China requires all on-the-roster police officers in public security organs to take a qualification examination on law enforcement. Those who fail shall not be entitled to enforce the law. In 2011, the examination was taken by a total of 1.73 million police officers, of whom over 1.69 million passed.

Strengthening occupational training for judicial staff. To keep up with the times and meet the public's increasing demands on the judiciary, China pays increasing attention to improving the occupational training system for judicial staff and elevating their capabilities. The central and provincial-level judicial organs have now established training agencies, formulated training plans, and extended training for all judicial staff, while setting up various specific training systems, including required training for junior officials and officials prior to promotion. The training programs have changed the traditional mode that focused on higher academic degrees and theoretical knowledge, but selected judges, prosecutors and police officers who have rich practical experience and a relatively high level of theoretical knowledge to serve as teachers. This educational training is designed to tackle the key, difficult points and newly emerging conditions and problems, and constantly improve practicability. Over the past five years, China has trained some 1.5 million judges, 750,000 prosecutors and 6 million police officers.

Intensifying professional ethical training for judicial staff. In light of different features of their work, judicial organs have formulated basic work ethics, setting forth specific requirements for judicial staff in such aspects as moral values, conduct in performing duties, discipline, style and etiquette in work, and conduct off duty. In 2011, a campaign for spreading core values was launched among China's judicial staff, taking "loyalty, for the people, justice and incorruptibility" as the common values to be held by them.

Strengthening professional ethics training for lawyers. This training, which highlights "always following the law, observing good faith, working diligently, and ensuring justice," is being carried out to build up the professional ethics of lawyers. Attempts are made to consolidate the self-discipline of the lawyers association, to establish a credibility system for practicing lawyers, and to improve the mechanism for evaluating and supervising the credibility of practicing lawyers and for punishing dishonest practicing lawyers so as to spur lawyers to increase their sense of responsibility in safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of the recipients of their services, to guarantee proper enforcement of the law, and to uphold equity and justice and ultimately to improve the moral standards and credibility of lawyers.

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