China's State Compensation Law shows increased use, focus on rights

Updated: May 15, 2024 Print
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China's State Compensation Law has seen a significant rise in utilization over the past three decades, reflecting a growing emphasis on protecting human rights and regulating government actions.

Since its implementation in January 1995, Chinese courts have handled over 318,000 state compensation cases, awarding more than 7.5 billion yuan ($1.04 billion) in compensation, according to data released by the Supreme People's Court on Tuesday. The data was presented at a seminar commemorating the law's 30th anniversary, attended by legal professionals, law enforcement officials, and political advisors.

The number of state compensation cases in 2023 is 17.55 times higher compared to 1995, highlighting the increasing awareness and use of this legal avenue.

State compensation refers to payouts by government or judicial bodies for their own mistakes, such as wrongful detention or convictions, that infringe upon the personal or property rights of individuals, companies, or organizations. Notably, compensation for wrongful detention also covers mental anguish alongside lost time. The SPC data shows this compensation amount has grown significantly, rising from 17.76 yuan per day in 1995 to 436.89 yuan in 2023.

"Over the past 30 years, courts nationwide have strictly implemented the State Compensation Law, upholding justice and ensuring social stability," said Zhang Jun, SPC president.

Xiao Jie, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, emphasized the law's role as a milestone in China's legal development. He noted its contribution to human rights protection and the advancement of rule by law.

Ying Yong, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, also highlighted how tightened oversight by prosecutors has addressed violations of citizens' and organizations' legitimate interests, aligning with the Constitution's emphasis on respecting and protecting human rights.

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