The President of the Chinese Supreme Court, Wang Shengjun, recently stated that “the overall interests of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and government” override the law. His remark has drawn heated criticism. Many contend that this is a violation of the judicial spirit.
Wang Shengjun also requested all courts to “safeguard national security, consolidate the power of the state, and ensure social stability” in handling cases. According to a report in China’s state-run media, Wang made this statement during a speech in Nanjing on Aug. 30 at a National Criminal Case Forum.
Human rights lawyer Zheng Jiankang called Wang’s remarks an obvious violation of the spirit of the law. He said, “To govern by law is to strictly follow the law. The judge should only proceed in accordance with the law. The ‘overall interest of the CCP and the government’ implies that the judge must solve judicial cases according to political interests. It’s simply an expression of the politicization of the judiciary.”
Beijing human rights lawyer Lu Xiaoyuan posted on his blog, “To ask lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and police officers to follow politics is literally putting ‘politics in command.’” He stressed that courts should handle all cases based upon “facts, law, fairness and justice.”
Another Beijing lawyer Liu Wei said that for lawyers, the law is supreme. She believes that the Supreme Court leader’s belief in placing politics before the law is different from the way lawyers generally understand ‘following the law.’
With the 60th CCP National Day approaching, security work in Beijing began in the latter half of June. The clearing away of protesters in Beijing has also begun. In early August, the Ministry of Justice issued an order requiring lawyers to be correct politically, to safeguard the state’s stability, and to follow the ruling.
Currently, more than 50 human rights lawyers are being suppressed or deprived of their right to practice for defending Falun Gong practitioners, dissidents, and other vulnerable groups such as landless farmers, Sanlu poison-milk victims, and so forth.
Lawyer Zheng Jiankang argued that the overall interests of the CCP and the government are impossible to pursue. He said, “How could you ask a judge to safeguard ‘the overall interest?’ What is ‘the overall interest?’ It simply means that the CCP is ‘the overall interest’ and as a result, the CCP’s policy takes precedence over the law.”
Numerous Web users have responded to this report from Xinhua News Agency using the same comment—“facts, law, fairness and justice” –as a way of objecting and expressing dissatisfaction.
A Web user noted that as the October 1 National Day is approaching, Beijing is strengthening internet censorship and tightening controls in the administration of justice. “The Supreme Court leader Wang Shengjun’s talk reveals the CCP’s sense of law.”
Another post bluntly pointed out, “The leader of the judicial system is illiterate in the law!”
Read the original Chinese article