Five model cases on interference with the judicial process are are making the headlines today on the Communist Party’s Central Political Legal Committee’s website (www.chinapeace.gov.cn) (and therefore on its press outlet, Legal Daily as well as one of the Supreme People’s Court’s websites). It is the first time the Central Political Legal Committee has done so, but is unlikely to be the last.
The practice of issuing model cases in the courts has been discussed previously on this blog, but these have been issued to create an example (in this case a senior judge) to scare others into compliance (“kill the chicken to show the monkeys” (杀鸡儆猴)).
The first of the five cases, and the only one from the courts, is that of Chen Hai’ou, chief judge of the #2 civil division of the Beijing Higher People’s Court (and judicial committee member). Chen seems to be well-known as a bankruptcy law specialist and was likely known to counterparts on the Supreme People’s Court.
According to the press release, Chen received an administrative penalty and has been transferred away from doing trial work because he involved himself in a case that was not within his authority In violation of March, 2015 Central Political Legal Committee regulations on judicial personnel prying into cases. Some more specific conflict of interest allegations against Chen remain posted on the Internet, although other allegations (and photos) on other sites have been taken down. It seems likely that these led to his downfall.