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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 10 No 1 (2008)

Prospects for Procedural Justice in Reforms to Public Order Regulations in China

Sarah Biddulph is Associate Director (China), Asian Law Centre, and Associate Professor and Reader, Law School, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

This article examines some of the legal responses to continuing problems of abuse of administrative power by the Chinese public security organs. It argues that recent reforms to improve the administration of justice reflect an acceptance by the state that law is not just something the police enforce, but that the authority of the police, as well as social order and stability, are promoted by controlling the arbitrary and abusive exercise of the state’s coercive powers. Continuing abuse and injustice in the exercise of police powers risks exacerbating the already severe social order problems that exist in China today and alienating Chinese citizens even further from the police and from the state. The article examines the gradual adoption of a uniform set of procedural requirements for the exercise by the police of their administrative powers. It focuses in particular on the most recent of these reforms incorporated in the Securities Administrative Punishments Law 2006, and comments on the factors that may affect implementation of these reforms.

(2008) 10(1) Asian Law 50

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