UNDP and Supreme People’s Court renew ties to cooperate on judicial reform and rule of law

05 Jun 2013

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UNDP China Resident Representative Ms. Renata Dessallien met with Mr. Zhou Qiang, the President of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in Beijing.  On behalf of UNDP, Ms. Dessallien extended UNDP’s warm congratulations to Mr. Zhou for his recent appointment as President of the SPC and introduced UNDP’s work in environmental protection and energy conservation, poverty reduction and the rule of law spanning more than three decades in China.

Mr. Zhou spoke highly of the past achievements from the cooperation between UNDP and the SPC which have played active role in promoting judicial reform and the construction of the rule of law in China.  He also expressed his enthusiasm for extending the SPC’s collaboration with UNDP in the future. In response, Ms. Dessallien affirmed that UNDP will continue to provide international experience and policy advisory support to meet the demand in the process of the SPC’s judicial reform to promote access to justice and the rule of law in China.

During the meeting, strategic priorities for the next five-year framework for judicial reform were discussed. Judge He Xiaorong, the Director General of the Judicial Reform Office of the SPC introduced the SPC’s focus areas in strengthening access to justice, promoting judicial transparency and democracy and increasing the judicial capacity of judges in the future.  Ms. Dessallien revealed a full understanding of the hardships and complexity of judicial reform and the construction of rule of law, and pointed out that China encompasses a huge landmass with highly diversified local contexts, currently undergoing a significant urbanisation and industrialisation process with various challenges ahead. 

Of these challenges, dealing with petitions related to legal and litigation issues is currently one of the priorities on the agenda of the 2013 National Political and Legal Conference in China. UNDP will continue to provide support to the Supreme People’s Court through research, piloting and policy recommendations and share its wealth of international experiences and best practices in solving petitions related to legal and litigation issues, promoting judicial transparency and enhancing judicial democracy. Mr. Zhou reiterated his appreciation for UNDP’s assistance and proposed to work together with UNDP in these areas to enhance judicial credibility and access to justice so as to improve justice and equity in China.