In November, 2016, this blog reported on Central Inspection Group (CIG) #2 inspecting the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) ’s Communist Party group. Recently, CIG #2 came back with feedback on its inspection. SPC leadership was in attendance and circuit court leadership participated by videoconference. A rough translation of the problems identified follows:
During the tour, the inspection team found…some problems, mainly: “four consciousnesses” need to be further strengthened; political discipline and political rules are not implemented strictly enough; the leadership role of the Party group is insufficiently developed; there are some gaps in the coordination of the advancement of the system of judicial system reform; the implementation of responsibility system for ideological attitude (意识形态责任制落实不够有力); there are weak links in Party construction; organizational construction is not systematic enough; internal Party political life is not strict enough; relevance of ideological political work is not strong; some Party leading cadres’ Party thinking is diluted (有的党员领导干部党的观念淡漠); the role of the basic level Party organization as a fighting fortress is insufficient; comprehensive strict governance of the Party is not strong, the implementation of the central eight point regulations is not strict enough; formalism and bureaucratic issues still exist; tourism using public funds, abuse of allowances and subsidies still occurs; personnel selection is not standardized; cadre management is not strict enough; there are some areas of clean government risk.
The report revealed that some cases have been referred to CCDI and the Party’s Organization Department for further handling.
President (and Party Secretary) Zhou Qiang accepted the criticism and promised to deal with it. A separate report revealed that a rectification strategy has been adopted and an office established to implement measures to respond to the criticism.
It is difficult, if not impossible for this observer to have independent sources of information on the implementation of political discipline, political rules, and ideological work in the SPC.
It does appear (to the outside observer) from the constant flow of judicial reform documents, judicial interpretations, judgments (and rulings), and the many other documents released by the SPC, that the large number of SPC judges and other support personnel have been professionally extremely productive.
One criticism that I had heard before was about coordination in the judicial reforms. As to why some reforms were rolled out before others, the reasons are likely complicated and relate to what was ready to go and generally accepted. As to the implications one reform has on other reforms or the existing system, that is much more difficult to analyze, particularly if (as I suspect), the SPC’s judicial reform office does not have enough people to cope with the complexities of implementing judicial reforms in a highly bureaucratic state.
On the cases of violation of Party discipline revealed, it would appear that they were limited in number and apparently limited (for the most part?) to minor infractions, such as fiddling with subsidies and using government cars for private purposes. In a large bureaucracy such as the SPC, it seems fair to assume that a few infractions are likely to occur. It seems reasonable to surmise that these cases will be wrapped up swiftly, before the upcoming National People’s Congress session, and we will learn more about the specific cases.