China to boost judicial transparency, fairness

Beijing, Jan 1 (IANS) In a bid to strengthen judicial transparency and fairness, the Chinese courts have been directed to impose standardised penalty measurement with the beginning of 2014.

The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) said Tuesday that the Chinese courts at various levels are required to impose standardised penalty measurement from Jan 1, 2014, Xinhua reported.
The SPC previously issued two specific circulars on the standardised penalties in local courts, asking them to accurately determine criminal responsibilities that defendants should bear, according to a guideline from the SPC.
Penalty measurement refers to discretion as to whether defendants should be sentenced to punishment below or above the norm.
The guideline specifies procedures assessing penalties for 15 crimes including intentional injury, robbery and rape.
It also asked the courts to combining punishment with leniency, stating that violent and drug crimes should be heavily punished based on benchmark sentences, while leniency should be showed to those involved in less serious crimes.