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In China, one can become High Court judge at 23

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by divya, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. divya

    divya BANNED

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    The strength of the Chinese judicial system is that a High Court judge can be appointed at 23 after he/she passes the National Judiciary Examination (similar to the Indian Civil Services examination) and completes the stipulated period of professional training.

    Further, one need not be an advocate to become judge, as the qualification for taking the NJE is graduation in any discipline including mathematics, a visiting delegation of the International Council of Jurists (ICJ) was told.

    Led by Justice V.S. Sirpurkar of the Supreme Court of India, the team, which visited courts in Shanghai and Beijing, was impressed with the hi-tech infrastructure provided to the judiciary by the Chinese government for dispensing justice.

    Justice Sirpurkar, who led the interactive sessions with the heads of the judiciary, expressed his appreciation of the sophisticated court halls, backed by well-knit archives for retrieval of any information. Whether it is the primary court, the intermediate court, the High People's Court or the Supreme People's Court, the same priority is given in providing infrastructure. The atmosphere in the court hall gives the litigant a feeling that he/she will get justice.

    The total number of judges in China is 1, 90,000, of whom 500 judges and 200 assistant judges are in the Supreme People's Court, and the total judicial staff strength is 3,20,000.

    Men judges retire at 60 and women, for historical reasons, at 55. However, Supreme Court judges retire at 65.

    Impressed with the efficient functioning of the judicial system through the use of modern technology, ICI President Adish Aggarwala said though China was not following Common Law principles, he suggested regular interaction between the judiciaries of the two countries for a better understanding of their systems and to learn from each other's experience. He wanted the Chinese judiciary to create websites in English language so that people from other countries could appreciate its good work.

    Death sentence

    At the Law School in Peking University, the delegation learnt from Vice Dean Xixin Wang that normally the death sentence, awarded by a lower court and confirmed by the Supreme People's Court, would be executed within six weeks. If for some reasons, it could not be executed within this period due to pendency of the pardon application, the two-year limitation would come into operation. Thereafter, there was the possibility of the appellate court modifying the sentence to life imprisonment, viz. at least for 20 years.

    Are judgments of the Supreme People's Court binding precedents for the High People's Court? No, they could have only persuasive value. As a result, past judgments could be cited only as examples.

    Asked whether sitting judges could be sacked for misconduct, the delegation was told that the government had the power to remove a judge after a Judicial Commission found him or her guilty.

    The delegation, which included ICJ Director S. Prabhakaran and members M. Antony Selvaraj and Yatin Reddy, and Justice Ali Hameed Mohamed of the Supreme Court of Maldives was struck by the importance the Chinese government gave to the judiciary.

    At the end of the visit, the delegation felt that India had a lot more to learn from the Chinese judiciary for putting in place a better mechanism for courts.

    The Hindu : News / International : In China, one can become High Court judge at 23