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Juvenile courts planned for Guangzhou
Latest Updated by 2006-10-16 17:29:27
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Special courts to deal with juvenile delinquency will be established in two-tier courts in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court issued a special notice, late last week, to require courts in the city's districts and suburban cities to quickly start the preparation work and establish the special courts within the year.

Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court has set up a special task force to help guide and handle the establishment of the special juvenile courts across the southern metropolis, according to a court official.

"The establishment of the special juvenile courts aims to reform and further improve the judicial system for the under-aged and further protect the legal rights of juvenile delinquents," said court official Liu Xiaomei.

The special juvenile courts will handle only cases involving immature suspects or cases where juvenile defendants account for more than 50 per cent of those on trial. The juvenile courts will hold hearings on all criminal, civil and executive cases involving underage defendants.

Petitions to free or reduce the punishment of juvenile offenders will also be heard in the special juvenile courts.

Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court, one of the pilot mainland courts, is trying to set up the special juvenile courts before 2007.

In August, the Supreme People's Court issued a notice to require a total of 18 intermediate people's courts across the country to establish special juvenile courts within the year.

Many local residents have welcomed the establishment of the special juvenile courts.

Wen Xiaoda, a local lawyer, said the establishment of the special juvenile courts would be significant in fighting crimes involving juvenile delinquents and protecting juvenile suspects' rights.

He said he believed juvenile suspects would receive fair trials in the special juvenile courts.

Chen Wencui, a Guangzhou woman with a 10-year-old son, said the establishment of the juvenile courts would help frighten the city's delinquents and help bring down Guangzhou's juvenile crime rate.

Criminal cases involving juvenile delinquents have been rising in this Guangdong provincial capital in recent years.

Courts in Guangzhou passed sentences on only 514 juvenile offenders in 1998. But the number of juvenile delinquents who were sentenced in Guangzhou rose to 935 in 2001, 1,584 in 2004 and 1,233 in the first nine months of 2005.

Most juvenile offenders have been prosecuted for robbery, theft, assault, rape, fighting and public disturbances.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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