Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Kangaroo Courts in China- And You Thought BumFck USA Was Bad

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 24, 2010

Here is an excerpt from Randall Peerenboom on Chinese legal courts. They are improving, but due to the nautre of their makeup and influence of the Chinese Communist party, they are still pretty poor…

“in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, only 23 per cent of judges have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In one county court, out of 55 legal workers, only one has a bachelor’s degree. Many counties lack even a single lawyer, and legal aid is often unavailable1. Other than this, one can also generalize that on the whole, judges in judges than small towns in rural areas; and the eastern region is stronger than the western region2, where they may have not been enough resources to pay for the salaries of judicial officials. Peerenboom states that, “Some of the courtrooms are not even courtrooms: tiny offices or basement rooms without a judge’s bench or jury box. Sometimes the public is not admitted, witnesses are not sworn to tell the truth, and there is no word-for-word record of the proceedings. Nearly three-quarters of the judges are not lawyers, and many – truck drivers, sewer workers or laborers – have scant grasp of the most basic legal principles. Some never got through high school, and at least one went no further than grade school… People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding….refused lawyers….People have been denied the right to a trial, an impartial judge and the presumption of innocence3”.



3Peerenboom, Assessing Implementation of Law in China, What is Standard

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