Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Drilling down on preferences for PLA personnel, families, & the PLA itself

The editor recently posted a Global Times article on the higher people's courts in five northern Chinese provinces and the Northern Command Military recently issuing a notice speeding up preferences for military members. It reflects recent reports in the Chinese media. As is so often the case with Global Times English- language reports, it misses some of the crucial detail from Chinese reports.  A bit of internet research has turned up the following:
1. The notice was issued in August 2016, but the full text is still not available. This appears to be normal practice with military-related legal matters, as readers of Global Military Justice Reform will have noticed. 
2. The notice appears to be one of a number of such arrangements between theater command courts and civilian courts, aimed at better coordination between the civilian and military justice systems--the Central and Southern Commands have worked out analogous arrangements as well (see this report from earlier this year). 
3. The notice appears to be an evolution of the 2014 Supreme People's Court policy document on Expanding Capacity in Safeguarding the Interests of National Defense, Guaranteeing the Rights and Interests of Military Personnel, and Military Dependents. This blog post discusses some of the special characteristics and odd issues of these documents.
4. According to the 2017 report linked above, in the past year or so, the military courts have dealt 1319 matters, resolved 763, and recovered economic losses of 134 million RMB (20 million USD). The military and civilian courts have handled 5224 cases, of which 1678 were accepted by local intermediate courts (implying large amounts of money in dispute) of which 1453 have been resolved. [Although it is not specified, it seems likely that a significant number are related to the decision of the military to extract itself from business operations (discussed here).]
5. Quite a few military-related judgments are being posted on the Supreme People's Court's judgment database. When time permits, I'll take a look at some of them.
Editor's note: many thanks to Susan Finder for her continuing invaluable coverage of Chinese military legal matters.

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