SPC stresses need to protect minors' physical, mental health in adjudication work

(Xinhua)      Updated : 2024-06-03

BEIJING -- China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Thursday issued a document on strengthening the judicial protection of minors and the prevention of crime among the group, noting that courts nationwide should pay attention to the physical and mental health of minors in adjudication proceedings.

It also asked the country's courts to take "preventive measures" targeting the root causes of juvenile delinquency and crime, aiming to detect early signs and promptly resolve negative factors in relevant cases that could give rise to problems.

The document emphasizes the liability of guardians in tort cases involving minors. It also includes provisions for custody issues in divorce cases.

Moreover, it proposes efforts to streamline and integrate adjudication of criminal, civil and administrative cases involving minors.

The document requires a strict stance in handling school bullying cases and the proper resolution of disputes in schools, calling for synergy between families, schools, society, the internet, the government and the judiciary to protect children.

The SPC said in the document that over the years, multiple cases of juvenile delinquency and crime, as well as the infringement of the legal rights of minors, have attracted widespread attention across society. People's courts, adhering to a problem-oriented approach, have been making greater efforts to balance prevention and punishment.

The SPC stressed the need for a lenient approach in the handling of cases of juvenile crime, but also noted that this approach does not mean such cases are condoned.

The SPC on Thursday also published five cases concerning judicial protection for minors to help lower-level courts handle relevant cases in an improved manner.

The cases, two criminal cases and three civil actions, involve multiple issues such as school bullying and child abuse. The cases were published ahead of International Children's Day on Saturday.

In the bullying case, a 14-year-old middle school student who was a victim of bullying used a knife in self-defense when facing a group attack, injuring three.

The court, taking into account the overall circumstances of the case, concluded that the behavior was legitimate self-defense and, thus, the minor was not criminally liable.

The guiding cases also include high-profile cases of child abuse by a family member, the illegal sale of alcohol to minors, custody rights, and visitation rights for grandparents.

Thursday was the first time that the SPC has published guiding cases that specifically concern the protection of minors.

A revised law on the protection of minors, which includes improved measures to prevent school bullying, as well as stipulations on the responsibilities of the guardians of left-behind children and the enhanced social protection of minors, took effect on June 1, 2021.