中国法律博客
ChinaLegalBlog.com
Article by Top Political-Legal Official Suggests Marginalization of Judicial Trial Work
媒体来源: 中国法律博客

On February 16, the Communist Party's theoretical journal,
Seeking Truth (Qiushi), published a
December speech by Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who heads the Central Politics and Legal Affairs Committee.   The
speech reiterates central interests in social stability, and strongly
emphasizes the need for promoting mediation as the preferred channel for
resolving a wide range of social problems, implicitly marginalizing the role of
judicial trials.

Zhou states that "the majority of mass incidents and citizen
petitions (xinfang) reflect conflicts
between the masses generated by claims related to citizen interests," and
identifies the resolution of such issues as a key Party-state goal.


To address these issues, Zhou states that "all
political-legal organs must establish the concept that mediation is also
enforcing the law (
zhifa), policy
mechanisms should ensure that the 'mediation first' principle penetrates into
the enforcement of cases."
  And he points
to perfecting a "big mediation work structure" involving people's mediation,
administrative mediation, and judicial mediation as the key to resolving
everything from labor disputes, environmental pollution, and food and safety
issues.  (See relevant language below).

 

This is definitely consistent with trends noted earlier in the Chinese political-legal system
aimed at emphasizing mediation over judicial trials.  Mediation can be a good thing in many
cases.  But when it is linked (as it is
here) to social stability goals of "Ensuring that small incidents do not leave
the village, large incidents do not leave the township, and that problems are
not handed off to higher levels of government," it does look like central
leaders just want to shut down petitions to higher levels at all costs, even if
it results in arm-twisting of parties and shutting down legitimate claims. 

Excerpt:

三要建机制。要健全党和政府主导的维护群众权益机制,深入开展社会矛盾"大排查",完善人民调解、行政调解、司法调解三位一体的"大调解"工作体系,把劳 动争议、医疗纠纷、环境保护、食品药品安全等领域的调解队伍建设好,把工会、共青团、妇联等各方面力量调动好,形成依靠基层党政组织、行业管理组织、群众 自治组织,共同及时有效化解社会矛盾的机制,做到哪里有人群,哪里就有调解组织;哪里有矛盾,哪里就有调解工作。各级政法机关要树立调解也是执法的观念, 从政策机制上把调解优先原则贯穿于执法办案中,努力实现案结事了。四要强基层。社会矛盾化解工作的重心在基层。乡镇(街道)要由党(工)委副书记牵头,把 政法、综治、维稳、信访等方面力量整合起来,形成综合治理的大平台,努力做到"小事不出村、大事不出乡(镇)、矛盾不上交"