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Judicial reform gains pace in China

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Subject

Judicial reform in China.

Significance

The Central Politics and Law Commission (CPLC) -- the Party organ that oversees the judicial system and internal security apparatus -- announced on January 21 that judicial reforms will be trialled in eleven of China's 33 provinces. Within days, it was announced that a new circuit court -- China's first -- will launch on February 2. Despite real risks, President Xi Jinping appears to see reform as urgent, in part because the status quo also carries risks.

Impacts

  • Foreign interlocutors will be able to participate more in China's legal reform, especially in commercial and economic matters.
  • Xi's call for an end to corrupt interference could affect cases of contract dispute, land purchase or intellectual property.
  • Foreign businesses engaged in specific legal disputes in China may use the reform drive to their advantage.
  • Legal activists in China will take recent announcements as a cue to press their case, demanding more than the Party will allow.
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