Courts and prosecutors to focus on livelihood issues, poverty battle
Chinese judges and prosecutors have been ordered to intensify efforts to guarantee people's livelihoods this year as a step toward helping the country build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The Supreme People's Court, China's top court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, its top prosecuting body, raised the requirement at their annual work conference in Beijing last weekend.
"Courts at all levels will pay attention to properly hearing cases related to people's livelihoods, such as those involving employment, wages, nursing services and medical care, as well as marriage and family," said Zhou Qiang, the top court's president.
Highlighting the significance of hearing such cases, Zhou demanded courts nationwide uphold justice by safeguarding people's legitimate rights to litigation and giving them equal access to it.
Zhang Jun, procurator-general of the top procuratorate, urged prosecutors across the country to handle cases promptly, solve public problems in a timely manner and ensure that every complaint letter receives a reply.
As winning the anti-poverty battle was crucial to building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Zhang said, those who engaged in corruption while administering poverty alleviation programs would be punished "without hesitation", and the authorities would also "improve a channel to ensure that corruptly acquired properties can be returned quickly".
"As for people falling into poverty after being offended against or suffering disputes, we'll give them as much legal aid as we can," he said.
Zhou also put stepping up the fight against graft in poverty alleviation programs on the agenda of Chinese courts this year to make sure the battle can be won on time.
The top court and top procuratorate also pledged on Saturday to strengthen efforts to prevent major financial risks, with Zhang saying "it's an important guarantee in establishing a moderately prosperous society in all respects".
He encouraged prosecuting departments to work with financial institutions to take measures to return illicit gains, maintain social stability and prevent financial risks from becoming social risks.
In addition, legal work related to preventing pollution will be improved this year after Chinese judicial authorities saw their efforts to protect the environment yield results last year.
Statistics from the top procuratorate showed that Chinese prosecutors initiated 69,000 environmental public-interest lawsuits last year, up 16.6 percent year-on-year.
Zhang said prosecutors will play a bigger role in supervising pollution prevention through rule of law to contribute to building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.