Thursday, November 26, 2015

Forthcoming reform of Chinese military courts

On the evening of November 26, Chinese official media (and the South China Morning Post) reported that Xi Jinping, Chairman of China's Central Military Commission, announced the long-expected reforms to the Chinese military at the conclusion of the Central Military Commission Work Conference.  As regular readers of this blog would know (see these earlier articles, for example), reform of the military justice system is on the agenda. The reforms call for reorganizing the military courts (and procuratorates) based on their location (the reforms call for the establishment of strategic zones and joint operation command systems, to replace China's current fragmented system) to enable them to operate with more autonomy and bolster their prestige or, as the Ministry of Defense report states, "to ensure independent and impartial exercise of their functions and powers according to law." The PLA's legal function is also slated for reform. Details are starting to emerge on the re-structuring of the military courts and legal function.  This observer hopes that greater transparency will be part of that re-structuring.

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