SPC, SPP unveils judicial interpretation of compensation in criminal cases
China’s Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate released a judicial interpretation on compensation in criminal cases at a press conference in Beijing on Jan 7.
A judicial interpretation on compensation in criminal cases is released at a press conference held by SPC and SPP in Beijing on Jan 7. [Photo/chinacourt.org]
The Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in the Trial of Criminal Cases Involving Compensation, which took effect on Jan 1, 2016, will further improve the legal system for State compensation, regulate legal procedures and unify the standards for compensation in criminal cases.
The 23-clause document classifies compensation in criminal cases into two categories – where there is infringement of personal rights and infringement of property rights – and clarifies some important issues, such as the meaning of “termination of the investigation of criminal responsibility”; the scope of review of compensation for infringement of property rights; compensation for illegal criminal detention and for conviction of a person whose innocence is proved in retrial; application of disclaimer clauses; standards for compensation; determination of the amount of compensation; and the effectiveness of the compensation decisions.
The Interpretation defines seven special circumstances which can be considered as "termination of the investigation of criminal responsibility" for compensation in criminal cases: the investigating body decides to terminate the investigation of the claimant for compensation; the case-handling body has not transferred the case for prosecution, or has made a non-prosecution decision, or cancelled the case for more than one year following a group of measures, including cancellation or withdrawal of bail pending trial, residential surveillance, detention, and arrest; the legal time limit of a bail pending trial or residential surveillance expires; the investigating body has not transferred the case for prosecution, or has made a non-prosecution decision, or cancelled the case for more than one year; the people's procuratorate withdrew the prosecution and has not pursued it for more than 30 days; the people’s court has withdrawn the prosecution for more than 30 days and the people’s procuratorate has not made a non-prosecution decision; the people’s court has allowed the private prosecutor in a criminal case to withdraw the case or it decides to withdraw a case of private prosecution.
These regulations will safeguard the rights of the parties concerned and better link the criminal procedures to criminal compensation procedures. They will also greatly regulate the exertion of public power in criminal procedure, and to some extent, avoid infringing the rights of suspects in pending cases.
The interpretation makes clear how to compensate those who are convicted in a retrial of only some of the charges in a case involving cumulative punishment and their prison terms actually served have exceeded the terms of imprisonment in retrial. Based on the interpretation, the excessive imprisonment can be compensated.
In recent years, a group of criminal compensation cases, such as the high-profile case of Hugjiltu who was originally charged with intentional homicide and indecent assault, and was then absolved of guilt, have attracted much attention. Although they were very few, they have caused great social impact and raised concerns among the public. Therefore, the judicial organs have taken compensation issues involving wrongful or false charges as their top priority.
The interpretation was introduced by the SPC and SPP after analyzing their studies and practical experience, as well as public opinion collected from all walks of life, especially the legislature and public security authorities.
Liu Hehua, director of the office of SPP’s compensation commission, Chen Xianjie, deputy director of the office of SPC’s compensation commission, Xian Tieke, deputy director-general of SPP’s criminal prosecution procuratorial department, and SPC’s publicity official Wang Ling attended the press conference.
The press briefing also released eight typical cases concerning compensation in criminal lawsuits.