how does the Chinese criminal justice system work?

I have heard that the UK standard is really guilty until proven innocent, but that there were a lot of safeguards in effect to guarantee a fair trial, but if it came down to breaking a tie using the standard, the accused is guilty. Correct, or incorrect?



I’ve heard that it is impossible for a non-Chinese to sue a Chinese in a PRC court & win.



False. I’ve sued and won in Chinese courts.

Completely false.

But, I’ve got to ask: heard from who? And what exactly does “breaking a tie” mean in the context of a criminal proceeding?

  1. There is no such thing as the “UK standard”. There is the law of England and Wales, law of Scotland, law of Northern Ireland, but no UK law.

  2. In England and Wales, the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. If they fail to do so, the accused must be let off.

  3. Scotland has a similar provision, while N Ireland has almost identical situation to England.

Source: AK84, Barrister-at-Law.

Neat! Could you tell us more about it? Obviously, you don’t want to post anything that would deprive you of your anonymity - but is there any more you could tell us about the process? Was it something that a US lawyer would find more-or-less familiar? Was it a fair process, in your view?

Plenty of other folks have already addressed the validity of this, but I’m curious: where are you hearing such things? And what other things have you heard about us? As an Englishman, I actually find it quite disturbing that people could think such a thing about us.

Is this part of the educational system, or just water-cooler gossip?

I’m also extremely interested in hearing how the idea of England being some kind of regressive state came from - particularly considering that we’ve had innocent until proven guilty as a component of our legal system for longer than the US has existed.

To be fair you have never had that idea, and niether has the US. What you do have is the idea of “he who asserts, must prove”, to whatever standard the court requires. A minor difference to be sure, but one which is real.

It was a wrongful termination suit. I sued for compensation and was awarded about half of what I thought would be my best case scenario. So, a not bad result. Seemed reasonably fair and straight forward.

Civil cases, especially at the lower level, are generally looking for something akin to arbitration. In fact, my understanding is that a lot of the cases I knew of brought about say 5 years ago now would just go to arbitration. Remember, this is a country where at least the concept is that the rights of society trump the individual (unlike the US ideal of the rights of the individual being paramount).

Please come with actual facts about the U.S. The United States regularly puts its citizens up in front of other courts. The U.S. will extradite accused American citizens to other countries with which we have extradition treaties.

However, what is very important in the United States is jurisdiction. We won’t extradite our citizens to a state that has no proper jurisdiction over a matter. And sorry, I know what this is about–if a United States military member is accused of committing a war crime overseas it is 100% not in the jurisdiction of some European government. You guys can claim “universal jurisdiction” all you want, be we’re a sovereign state and we absolutely do not have to accept it.

I know at least one European country (France), will not under any circumstances extradite a citizen of France to another country to stand trial. For example if I’m a French citizen and murder someone in the United States, and am convicted and sentenced to life in prison and then escape back to France a year later, I’m essentially off scott free. France will not extradite its citizens under any circumstances.

I don’t know the legalities in Israel, but I also don’t believe Israel will extradite its citizens.

But let me correct the blatant misstatement in your post: the United States does allow its citizens to be tried in foreign courts, and we have many extradition treaties with many countries and we regularly extradite accused criminals who happen to be American citizens overseas to stand trial.

Israel will and has extradited its own citizens. It just won’t extradite to a potential death penalty.

Incidentally, Israel has a common law system (as in the UK and the US) - but no juries.

Israel or at least the British mandate of Palestine, had the common law system, but IIRC the system was that of British India*, as opposed to England and Wales itself, although of course the law of British India was based pretty much totally on the system of England and Wales.

British India did have juries, but it was a land where the “amature justice” was provided by them was always seen with suspicion, none of the successor states of British India retain the jury system, Pakistan was the last holdout, until the 70’s. I am therefore not surprised that Isreal does not have juries.

  • After the British crown took over the Government of India, it established substantive and procedural laws derived from the common law of England and Wales which were enforced in India. When the British occupied new territorys after that, they most times simply took the existing Indian law, renamed it and put it inforce in the new territory.

Is there a specific case you are referring to, where a member of the US military was accused of committing a war crime overseas, and a European government claimed “universal jurisdiction”?

In Thailand, there is no presumption of innocence – or of guilt. The defendant is a suspect whose guilt or innocence shall be established in a trial.

As I understand it, France will not extradite its citizens, but can try them in French courts for crimes committed abroad. So if you’re a French citizen, commit a crime in another country and then go back to France, it’s quite likely that you’ll have to face justice.

In your particular example (you’ve already been sentenced in another country and then escape) I’m not sure what would be done.


French “justice”.:dubious:

What’s a “Life sentence” for murder in France? 10 years? 15?

A. Heard it from a Criminal Justice professor (In America), in a classroom.
B. Breaking a tie, in the sense that if the evidence is equal, more or less, and/or the justices, jury, what have you, are evenly divided on a vote for guilt, innocence.


Yeah, why would I think United Kingdom?