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Presumption of Innocence in China - FA Comparative Study on International Human Rights Standards and Chinese Law and Practice

Jiang, Tianlong (2009)
Department of Law
Abstract
According to the United Nations' Human Rights Committee's General Comment 32 on Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial ''is a key element of human rights protection and serves as a procedural means to safeguard the rule of law'' .Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 32, Article 14: Right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/GC/32 (2007). It states that ''Article 14 of the Covenant aims at ensuring the proper administration of justice, and to this end guarantees a series of specific rights''. Among the specific rights, the Presumption of Innocence (PI) ''has long been regarded as... (More)
According to the United Nations' Human Rights Committee's General Comment 32 on Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial ''is a key element of human rights protection and serves as a procedural means to safeguard the rule of law'' .Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 32, Article 14: Right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/GC/32 (2007). It states that ''Article 14 of the Covenant aims at ensuring the proper administration of justice, and to this end guarantees a series of specific rights''. Among the specific rights, the Presumption of Innocence (PI) ''has long been regarded as fundamental to protecting accused persons from wrongful conviction'' Victor Tadros and Stephen Tierney, 'The Presumption of Innocence and the Human Rights Act', 67, Modern Law Review(2004), p. 402. and is one of the ''minimum guarantees of the accused in criminal trials''. Manfred Nowak, UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: CCPR Commentary, second revised edition, (N.P. Engel Publisher, 2005), p. 329. For contemporary China, since 1996, there have been some steps taken to improve human rights protection, especially for the rights of the suspects and defendants in criminal proceedings. One of the most important those relating to the principle of PI is the Decision on Revising the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China (''the Decision'') adopted at the Forth Session of the Eighth National People's Congress (NPC) on 17 March 1996, which ended the situation that ''this principle (of PI) never had been officially recognised'' Gu Mingkang, 'Criminal Procedure Law', in Wang Guiguo &amp&semic John Mo (eds.), Chinese Law, (Kluwer Law International, 1999), p. 646. in People's Republic of China. However, a close look at the Criminal Procedure Law of People's Republic of China (CPL) and the practice with regard to the PI in China today, reveals many problems that inhibit the full establishment of PI in accordance with international standards, specifically the ICCPR. This thesis evaluates the situation of the principle of PI in China in the perspective of international human rights law. The following main questions will be examined: Do the provisions in CPL relating to PI have the same content as the one in the ICCPR? What are the academic arguments for this? What improvements and practical problems with respect to PI does the Decision of 1996 entail? What measures should be adopted to further guarantee PI in China? Generally, to answer these questions, this thesis focuses mainly on three dimensions. First, it provides a general overview of the principle of PI in international human rights instruments, certain regional and national laws and practices. Next, it describes the legal system in China and gives a brief evaluation of its judicial independence. Finally, after analysing the situations of PI in China which is the most important part of this thesis, it draws the conclusion that Chinese laws and practices are still a long way from fully establishing the PI in accordance with ICCPR, although there have been some improvements in this field since 1997. (Less)
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author
Jiang, Tianlong
supervisor
organization
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
International Human Rights Law
language
English
id
1555367
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:23:29
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:23:29
@misc{1555367,
  abstract     = {According to the United Nations' Human Rights Committee's General Comment 32 on Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial ''is a key element of human rights protection and serves as a procedural means to safeguard the rule of law'' .Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 32, Article 14: Right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/GC/32 (2007). It states that ''Article 14 of the Covenant aims at ensuring the proper administration of justice, and to this end guarantees a series of specific rights''. Among the specific rights, the Presumption of Innocence (PI) ''has long been regarded as fundamental to protecting accused persons from wrongful conviction'' Victor Tadros and Stephen Tierney, 'The Presumption of Innocence and the Human Rights Act', 67, Modern Law Review(2004), p. 402. and is one of the ''minimum guarantees of the accused in criminal trials''. Manfred Nowak, UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: CCPR Commentary, second revised edition, (N.P. Engel Publisher, 2005), p. 329. For contemporary China, since 1996, there have been some steps taken to improve human rights protection, especially for the rights of the suspects and defendants in criminal proceedings. One of the most important those relating to the principle of PI is the Decision on Revising the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China (''the Decision'') adopted at the Forth Session of the Eighth National People's Congress (NPC) on 17 March 1996, which ended the situation that ''this principle (of PI) never had been officially recognised'' Gu Mingkang, 'Criminal Procedure Law', in Wang Guiguo &amp&semic John Mo (eds.), Chinese Law, (Kluwer Law International, 1999), p. 646. in People's Republic of China. However, a close look at the Criminal Procedure Law of People's Republic of China (CPL) and the practice with regard to the PI in China today, reveals many problems that inhibit the full establishment of PI in accordance with international standards, specifically the ICCPR. This thesis evaluates the situation of the principle of PI in China in the perspective of international human rights law. The following main questions will be examined: Do the provisions in CPL relating to PI have the same content as the one in the ICCPR? What are the academic arguments for this? What improvements and practical problems with respect to PI does the Decision of 1996 entail? What measures should be adopted to further guarantee PI in China? Generally, to answer these questions, this thesis focuses mainly on three dimensions. First, it provides a general overview of the principle of PI in international human rights instruments, certain regional and national laws and practices. Next, it describes the legal system in China and gives a brief evaluation of its judicial independence. Finally, after analysing the situations of PI in China which is the most important part of this thesis, it draws the conclusion that Chinese laws and practices are still a long way from fully establishing the PI in accordance with ICCPR, although there have been some improvements in this field since 1997.},
  author       = {Jiang, Tianlong},
  keyword      = {International Human Rights Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Presumption of Innocence in China - FA Comparative Study on International Human Rights Standards and Chinese Law and Practice},
  year         = {2009},
}