[JURIST] Chinese Chief Justice Xiao Yang [official profile] reported Tuesday that nine high ranking Chinese officials were convicted by courts in 2006 as a result of China's anti-corruption campaign [JURIST news archive]. In a working report to the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) [official website], the country's parliament, Xiao also reported that a total of 825 convicted government officials were sentenced by courts in 2006; of those, 9 were at the provincial or ministerial level and 92 were at the prefecture level. Chinese courts also heard 23,733 cases of embezzlement, bribery and dereliction of duty of which 8,310 were bribery cases involving government employees. Also in 2006, the Supreme Court took back the power to review and ratify all death penalty cases [JURIST report] starting in 2007, ending a 26-year practice of allowing lower level courts to decide such cases.
In November 2006, five senior judges from the city of Shenzhen [government website] in Guangdong province in southern China were arrested and 20 other judges implicated in a crackdown on corruption [JURIST report] between June and October. China [JURIST news archive] has a history of corruption among judges, but the probe in Shenzhen marked the largest judicial graft scandal the country has seen to date. Four Chinese judges were charged with accepting bribes [JURIST report] in October 2006 to fix the outcomes of cases in Anhui province [official backgrounder]. A report by Xiao to the Standing Committee [official website] of the NPC in October 2006 said public trust in the Chinese judiciary needed in be restored in the face of court corruption and systemic failures to implement court orders. Xiao has announced [press release, in Chinese] a three-year reform plan focusing on implementing a strict code of conduct [JURIST report] for local judges. Xinhua has more.