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China official pushes judicial reform guided by Communist party

[JURIST] Judicial reform in China should be managed by the Chinese Communist Party [official website] rather than by reformers and non-governmental organizations, according to an article [Xinhua report] published Thursday by China's top law enforcement official. Luo Gan [official website; BBC profile], a member of the ruling Politburo Standing Committee, wrote the article in the party's Qiushi (Seeking Truth) Journal, referring to those who seek to reform the judiciary as "hostile forces." "All law enforcement activities should be led by the party," continued Luo. "All reform measures should be conducive to the socialist system and the strengthening of the party leadership." Last month, the party announced plans to intensify its anti-corruption campaign, following complaints by China's chief justice [JURIST reports] of court corruption and systemic failures to implement court orders.

Luo also addressed criticisms of judicial corruption, writing that the judiciary should "safeguard social justice and fairness" and advocating "harsh punishments" for those convicted of crimes committed in the sale of land and the reform of state enterprises. The article encouraged labor sentences, however, a policy that human rights groups have condemned for targeting political opponents and minor offenders. While Luo urged the government to heed the international community's reaction to its policies, it also stated that NGOs should be "closely monitored." Reuters has more.

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