Section 1 – The Chinese Criminal Procedure Law before 1996
3-1-1 The Chinese Criminal Procedure Law before 1979
Along with its historical evolution of its economic, politic and social systems, the Chinese judicial system has been gradually developing. For hundreds of years Chinese judicial system has been proliferating by adopting legal doctrines from other countries however, today the Chinese judicial system as a whole is the result of a rich Chinese history and practical experience. Indeed, for around two millennia China had withheld its own unique legal system. During that time, the notion of “law” equated “punishment”. The Chinese traditional law, pre-1911, was conceived on the basis of an inclusive code containing many types of rules with criminal punishments.
3-1-1-1 Protection of individual’s rights
When talking about the Chinese traditional history of law it is often mentioned that China lacks emphasis on the rights of the individual in criminal justice. Indeed, in Chinese legal tradition there is no equivalent of the concept of western countries which was what was at the origin of the international regime of human rights as known today . During China’s history of feudal period (from 475 B.C to A.D 1840), the criminal justice was characterized by the presumption of guilt. Nevertheless, looking into the China’s legal culture it does seems that individuals and their dignity and values were recognized. For instance, Lu Xing have described that in former declaration on criminal procedure if the case was doubtful and guilt not conclusive, the court should not deal with this case . This emphasizes that if a person could not be proven guilty by evidence, then he ...
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...d in the Criminal Procedure Law. And already by the end of 1995, the National People’s Congress’s Standing Committee had already approximately twenty revisions concerning criminal procedure matters.
As a result from these inconsistencies and need of further development of fundamental principles, Chinese scholars began to discuss further improvement of the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law in the early 1990s. Also, during that time, China began opening up its economy to the outside world. This opening up to western culture meant that scholars increasingly looked into the European and North American judicial systems in order to develop a way to improve their current criminal procedure law. This led to the discussion by the National People’s Congress of the Draft Amendment to The Criminal Procedure Law and adopted the Decision to Revise the Criminal Procedure Law in 1996.
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