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China judge says stability is this year's priority

China judge says stability is this year's priority

China's top judge said Tuesday the country's legal system will focus on preventing massive public unrest as the global economic crisis threatens to cause more job losses.
China last year saw the number of criminal cases rise 6.6 percent from the previous year, with a slight drop in violent crimes but an increase in financial crimes, according to a report by the Supreme People's Court to the annual session of parliament.
Wang Shengjun, president of the Supreme People's Court, said maintaining stability would help China in its effort to reinvigorate its economy, the world's third largest after the U.S. and Japan.
"(We) will cautiously handle cases caused by the international financial crisis and domestic and external social and economic developments, and promptly propose judicial suggestions to prevent or resolve these problems," Wang said.
More than 20 million migrant workers have lost their jobs in recent months, and thousands of recently unemployed have protested factory shutdowns and demanded back pay. While China's leaders say they are working to boost the economy, there are fears a further downturn could spark widespread unrest.
In a separate report, China's chief prosecutor Cao Jianming said China's law enforcement efforts improved last year, enabling the Olympic Games to be held safely, thwarting attempts to foment separatism and fighting graft.
Wang said courts at all levels of the country tried and concluded nearly 770,000 criminal cases last year _ a rise of 6.59 percent from the previous year _ convicting more than a million criminals. About 160,000 criminals were given sentences ranging from five years' in jail to death.
Economic crimes like corruption rose 10.78 percent to more than 52,000 cases while violent crimes fell half a percentage point to about 134,000 cases, the report showed. Labor disputes nearly doubled to about 290,000 cases last year.
Wang said more work was needed to raise ethical and professional standards of the courts, saying more than 700 court officials were punished for violating laws.
"Some judges don't have high enough professional ethics, are unfair and corrupt in the judicial process," he said, adding that such cases "seriously damage the public's confidence in the judiciary, creating an ill effect on society."


Updated : 2021-03-05 18:35 GMT+08:00