'China should take cue from Indian judiciary'
Beijing: Courts in China should take a cue from India's judicial system and encourage Public Interest Litigations (PIL) to tweak the country's comparatively "weaker" judiciary, a Chinese law professor said.
"In India, the common law tradition allows judges to begin litigation just based on a news report or a letter from a petitioner, whether a lawyer or not. China needs to adopt this practice," Wang Sixin, a law professor with the Communication University of China, wrote in the state-run Global Times.
The professor said that while courts in India played a crucial role in maintaining and enforcing law, their counterparts in China were comparatively "weaker" as initiating a PIL comes with "political risks".
"(In India) Just about anyone can initiate a PIL, often for very little cost, whereas in China the individual has no right to initiate a PIL unless his or her rights are directly undermined," he wrote.
Wang was part of a Chinese delegation of law professors who visited India recently and interacted with judges, lawyers and activists.
The professor claimed that PILs in China are usually aimed at private companies, while government agencies are rarely sued, unlike in India where the litigation is most often used to target the government.
Chinese legislators are currently mulling the introduction of a new PIL system to encourage proactive judicial activism to deal with environmental and food safety scandals.
A draft of the proposed new legislation on PIL was formally filed before China's top legislature the National People's Congress Standing Committee this year.