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How Reformative are China’s Legal Rights and Judicial System?

Roshan Writes: Is the legal reforms and the efforts to make Chinese societies more liberal a reality, or is China’s current leadership going back to being repressive?

Roshan Writes:

Recently in the Diplomat there was an interview of Jerome Cohen, Professor of Law at New York University, on legal reform, human rights and judicial independence in China. That article was an interesting read as the analysis brought out some key pointers. This makes us wonder whether the legal reforms and the efforts to make Chinese societies more liberal and participative is a reality, or is China’s current leadership going back to being repressive?. Mr Cohen’s comment that  “Although the legislative process has sped up under Xi, most new laws produced run counter to liberal legal reforms and are designed to expand the Party’s repressive policies. Moreover, practice, especially in the area of political and civil rights and criminal justice, has become even more repressive than legislation would appear to allow” if true, then it is a cause of concern. Secondly a lot has been said about President Xi’s iron hand to control corruption but the interviewer again says that “Although thousands of allegedly corrupt officials have been prosecuted for corruption, certainly at the higher levels the campaign has focused on political enemies of the dominant players. Many other high level targets and their families and associates have thus far been spared”. This also if it is true then China’s future may not be as stable as the leadership desires and there might be internal unrest and tug of war between the warring factions. Also Chinese society is transforming, and I believe that China’s burgeon middle class will shape its future. Because this class is educated have economic aspirations and may not like to be curbed.  This transformation is peaceful or violent like the Tiananmen revolt, will depend on the policies adopted by the leadership. A well-educated citizen would like to take an active part in the governance and curbing its intellectual capacity will be counterproductive in future. Hence as the interviewer states that “ Xi Jinping policies continues with its the legal protection of political and civil rights have been increasingly repressive in practice and his continuing brutal suppression of human rights lawyers and their families and colleagues has been scandalous, relentless and cruel” then China is in for trouble in the future and this means the region itself will see some anxious moments .We would like to have more comments, views and analysis from our readers on this issue.

To read the Interview of Jerome Cohen Please see the link

http://thediplomat.com/2016/09/interview-jerome-cohen/ .

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