Fulfilling the Responsibilities and Missions of Procuratorates

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2013-08-20 16:09
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Procuratorate authorities throughout the country are required to energetically promote the development of a peaceful country under the rule of law and make all-out efforts to build a strong contingent of procurators, while keeping firmly in mind the goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, the central tasks of the Party and the state, and the interests of the vast majority of the people. They must meet new expectations for public security, judicial justice, and the protection of rights and interests; fulfill general requirements for stepping up legal oversight, internal supervision, and the development of a strong contingent of procurators; and significantly improve both their capacity to enforce the law and their public credibility. In doing so, procuratorate authorities will be able to effectively fulfill their responsibilities and their mission as both builders and defenders of socialism with Chinese characteristics. 

I. Actively serving economic and social development

The report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China stated that the overall plan for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is to promote economic, political, social, cultural, and ecological progress. Therefore, we should take this overall plan into account as we are planning and improving our procuratorial initiatives. Focusing on the goals and tasks outlined for socialist economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological development, procuratorates must fully exert their roles in combating and preventing crime, overseeing law enforcement, raising public awareness of the law, and protecting legitimate rights and interests, so as to provide a strong legal guarantee for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, accelerating socialist modernization, and achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

May 16, 2012, procuratorate officials from the Jinzhou Railway Transport Procuratorate of the People’s Procuratorate of Liaoning Province give a presentation on combating corruption and encouraging integrity at the construction site of a railroad-administered sanatorium in Shanhaiguan. / Xinhua (Photo by Gao Jinxu)

Working hard to ensure sound and sustainable economic development. In close conformity with the policy-decisions and guidelines set forth by the central leadership with regard to economic work, we should identify correct points of entry and focus for efforts to serve economic development through procuratorial initiatives. Therein, greater importance should be attached to efforts to ensure and facilitate, in accordance with the law, improvements to the socialist market economy, changes in the economic growth model, upgrading of economic structure and the synchronization of industrialization, urbanization, agricultural modernization, and the widespread application of IT. We must step up efforts to combat crimes that seriously undermine the order of the market economy, actively prevent and crack down on malfeasance in key areas of public investment and industrial restructuring, and work to guard against and defuse risks and dangers that exist in the fiscal and financial sectors. At the same time, we will properly handle new types of cases that arise during the course of reform and development, so as to create an orderly and creditable market environment. 

Working hard to ensure the development of socialist culture. Active efforts to safeguard China’s cultural security must be made during the continued expansion of overseas cultural exchanges. We will continue to carry out intensive campaigns to crack down on pornographic and illegal publications, and lawfully investigate, punish, and prevent malfeasance in the cultural sector, particularly in government-organized cultural schemes for public benefit and in law enforcement in the cultural market, thereby ensuring the sound development of government-organized cultural programs and the cultural industry. We will work to safeguard public morality, and regard this as an important value to be pursued in the enforcement of laws and in the handling of cases, so as to boost civic morality. 

Working hard to ensure the development of a culture of environmental protection. Procuratorates must be fully aware of the serious situation that we face with regard to increasingly acute resource constraints, severe environmental pollution, and degrading ecosystems. On the basis of this awareness, we must crack down on criminal activities that are seriously detrimental to water resources, land resources, mineral resources, and the natural environment. During these efforts, a focus should be placed on combating malfeasance in land planning, water conservancy projects, the exploitation and use of mineral resources, major projects to restore ecosystems, the development of natural disaster prevention and mitigation systems, and in the monitoring of the environment. By doing so, procuratorates will be able to spur the resolution of serious environmental issues that are detrimental to public health and make due contributions to the building of a beautiful country.

II. Engaging actively in the development of a peaceful country and doing our utmost to safeguard social harmony and stability

Social harmony and stability represent important aspects of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and are also the common wishes of the people. Procuratorates at all levels must fully exert themselves in aspects of their work that pertain to the safeguarding of national security and social stability, so as to do their part in ensuring that the people can live and work in contentment, that society is stable and orderly, and that the country enjoys enduring peace and stability. 

Combating crime in accordance with the law to ensure sustained overall social stability. Heightening our sense of national security, we must pay close attention to new features and developments in regard to public security. Focusing on serious issues that undermine people’s sense of security, we should take active part in special campaigns to combat serious crimes and rectify areas with serious security problems. In particular, we must crack down on crimes committed by Mafia-like gangs, violent crimes, frequent property-related crimes, drug-related crimes, cybercrime, and crimes that threaten food and drug safety. In accordance with the law, we will severely punish those who commit extremely violent crimes for the purpose of exacting revenge on society, so as to improve public security and safeguard both lives and property. 

Actively participating in efforts to strengthen and make innovations in social management, and promoting the resolution of serious issues that affect social harmony and stability. In order to earnestly implement the decisions and guidelines of the CPC Central Committee with regard to strengthening and making innovations in social management, procuratorates at all levels are required to conscientiously integrate themselves into the social administration system, play a more assertive role in social administration, give full play to the role of the law in safeguarding development, and work to make social administration more scientific. By making further improvements to institutions, mechanisms and measures, we will strengthen the investigation and resolution of serious conflicts and problems, and work to address these issues at the root. At the same time, we will work with the relevant departments to improve services and administration with regard to special groups, such as juvenile offenders, released prisoners, convicts undergoing community correction, as well as the floating population, private economic organizations and social organizations, and information networks. In this way, we will constantly widen the channels and means by which procuratorates participate in social management, and help to make social management more scientific and law-based.

Treating people’s demands fairly and in accordance with the law, and effectively protecting people’s legitimate rights and interests. We will provide more accessible and standardized channels for people to express their demands, put in place a sound mechanism for the handling of complaints that pertain to legal issues and litigation, and increase efforts to handle complaints, correct mistakes, provide compensation, and provide assistance in accordance with the law. We will pay close attention to forms of corruption that have an impact on everyday life and which undermine social harmony and stability. Focusing on key areas such as initiatives regarding agriculture, rural areas, and rural residents, education, employment, housing, water conservancy, social security, the environment, production safety, medical care and pharmaceuticals, as well as law enforcement and justice administration, we will launch intensive campaigns to forestall, investigate, and take action against cases of malfeasance that occur in everyday life and harm people’s interests. Through these efforts, we will ensure that the public are able to experience fairness and justice in every case that procuratorates handle. 

III. Promoting the development of a country under the rule of law and safeguarding the consistency, dignity, and authority of the country’s legal system

Building a country under the rule of law not only represents an objective necessity for economic development and social progress, but also provides a powerful impetus and fundamental guarantee for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. As an important force in the development of a country under the rule of law, procuratorates must adhere to the path of developing socialist democracy and promoting the rule of law with Chinese characteristics, conscientiously work to improve the rule of law in every aspect of procuratorial work, and make contributions to promoting the rule of law in an overall sense and to accelerating the building of a country under the rule of law.

Setting an example in performing functions and exercising powers in strict accordance with the law and striving to improve the capacity of procuratorates to enforce the law strictly and impartially. Procuratorates must set an example in observing the provisions of the Constitution and the law, and act conscientiously to enforce the law in a strict manner and administer justice impartially, as these are fundamental requirements for the building of a country under the rule of law. As the state organ of legal oversight, it is particularly important for procuratorates to always ensure that the law is applied, that law enforcement is strict, and that law breakers are held accountable. With a strong sense of accountability towards the country, towards the people, and towards the law, procuratorates must make sure that everyone is equal before the law, that all cases are handled thoroughly, and that corruption is punished without exception. With a view to addressing deep-rooted issues and problems that have an undermining effect on judicial justice and impede legal oversight, we must continue to press ahead with the standardization of law enforcement, optimize the distribution of procuratorial functions and powers, and improve mechanisms for the management of law enforcement. At the same time, we must work hard to make judicial work more transparent, and engage in constant efforts to increase the credibility of law enforcement.

Conscientiously fulfilling obligations in legal oversight, and rectifying the serious problems of lax law enforcement and the lack of impartiality in the administering of justice. Ensuring that the Constitution and other laws are effectively implemented represents a fundamental aspect of our efforts to establish China as a country under the rule of law. Based on a correct understanding of their functions as defined by the Constitution, procuratorates must intensify their oversight against lax, unfair, and dishonest practices in law enforcement and justice administration. At the same time, they must have both the courage and the capacity to conduct standardized legal oversight in accordance with the law, so as to effectively safeguard judicial justice and the authority of the law. In particular, to ensure that the newly amended Criminal Procedure Law and Civil Procedure Law are fully implemented, procuratorates must embrace new ways of thinking in law enforcement, standardize and improve the way that they engage in legal oversight, intensify legal oversight during the course of investigations, hearings, and in the enforcement of rulings, and step up oversight against the illegal obtainment of evidence, the indiscriminate use of coercive measures, and the infringement of litigation rights. In doing so, we will ensure that the law is enforced in a unified and correct fashion. 

Significantly increasing public awareness of laws while enforcing laws and handling cases. Ensuring that laws are studied, respected, observed, and used throughout society represents an important goal that we must work towards during our efforts to establish China as a country under the rule of law. We will conduct in-depth analysis of the major and typical cases that we have handled, and carry out intensive activities in which procurators will visit urban communities, villages, enterprises, and schools. By increasing publicity efforts, we will raise public awareness of the law, promote the rule of law, and build a culture around the rule of law. We will encourage all citizens to protect their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law and to conscientiously fulfill their statutory obligations. At the same time, we will assist government leaders at all levels in improving their ability to deepen reform, promote development, resolve problems, and safeguard stability through the application of legal thinking and legal means. In doing so, we will ensure that all government initiatives are conducted in accordance with the law.

VI. Building a strong contingent of procurators and constantly increasing the capacity and credibility of procuratorates in law enforcement 

A strong contingent of procurators is necessary for ensuring that procuratorial tasks are carried out well.

Strengthening ideological and political work among procurators. A stronger emphasis needs to be placed on ideological and theoretical work, the fostering of Party spirit, and the cultivation of professional ethics. We will increase education with regard to core socialist values and the concept of socialist rule of law, and urge all procurators to strengthen their political resolve, firmly adhere to the core values of dedication, impartiality, integrity, and working for the people, and establish strong ideological foundations that will guide procurators in holding high the banner of socialism, following the guidance of the CPC, and remaining dedicated to their mission. We will stage practical activities to promote the mass line among procurators, adopting the themes of maintaining integrity, working for the people, and resolving practical issues. At the same time, we will continue to work tirelessly to resolve issues of strong public concern, improve the mechanisms that allow procurators to engage and serve the public directly, and enhance our capacity to do well the mass work under new circumstances. 

Pursuing higher standards of professionalism among procurators. The professional standing and competence of procurators have a direct bearing on the quality and credibility of law enforcement. Placing an emphasis on leading cadres, frontline personnel, ordinary procurators, we will carry out a range of training programs on various levels in order to constantly improve the capacity of our teams to safeguard social fairness and justice, influence public opinion in the new media era, and widely apply technology, especially information technology, in all aspects of procurotorial work. We will improve and implement requirements with regard to the appointment of procurators, the credentials needed for law enforcement, and the management of procurators on a per category basis. In addition, we will work out a set of professional guarantees that are geared to the features of procuratorial work, and keep on improving the professional management of procurators.

Strengthening the development of a framework of measures for restraining and supervising the exercise of procuratorial powers. We must remain committed to managing power, affairs, and personnel according to rules. Adhering to the principle that it is even more important to subject supervisors to supervision, we must tighten supervision over the exercise of power by leading officials, over law enforcement, and over the handling of cases, and make the exercise of procuratorial powers more standardized and transparent, so as to ensure that procurators exercise their powers independently, impartially, and in accordance with the law. We will comprehensively promote the development of a system for preventing and punishing acts of corruption within procuratorates. In order to ensure that procuratorates are run strictly, we will adopt a zero tolerance attitude towards various violations of laws and code of discipline, especially cases involving unfair law enforcement and judicial corruption. In doing so, we will constantly improve the capacity of procurators to resist corruption and degeneration, and enable them to win the trust and support of the people through their honesty and integrity. 

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No.5, 2013)

Author: Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China

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