Further violence against Chinese judges

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-1-09-54-pmDuring the Mid-Autumn festival, several of the major legal Wechat accounts carried articles deploring the latest report of violence against judges in a Shandong bank (which occurred on 8 September) (and making caustic comments about the local authorities), attracting hundreds of thousands of page views.  An official statement about the incident has now been issued by the central authorities decrying “no matter what the reason, violent resistance to law in any country is very serious legal event, it has touched the base line of the rule of law, respect of the dignity of the individual, it is about the authority of the law, if even in a judge’s personal safety can not be guaranteed in the society, what is the rule of law?”

A video of the incident (from which the above photo was taken) has been circulating of the incident, which originally had been deleted from Tencent video but now has been restored.The video shows two judges from the enforcement division of a county court at a local bank being attacked by personnel from the defendant company. The video states that the judges were taken to “headquarters,” with one kept as a captive and the other taken back to the bank.  A subsequent local government statement said that the investigations were continuing and the two judges were safely escorted from the county.

The official statement, made first by the Supreme People’s Court on its Weibo account , was subsequently reprinted in other official media, including on the front page of the People’s Court Daily and the website of the Central Political Legal Commission.

Presumably social media was flooded with thousands of messages from local judges on the lack of respect for the judiciary by the public and officials.

Comments on public accounts include:

 Wang Dong, prosecutor, author of CU检说法: Today enforcement division judges were beat up, maybe tomorrow it will be the criminal, civil court, and administrative division judges.

Today  Shandong judges were beaten, maybe tomorrow it will be Anhui, Henan, or Zhejiang judges.

Today those who were beaten were judges executing their public duties, maybe tomorrow it will be public prosecutors (procurators), police, or lawyers.

Everyone will not always be just a spectator.

If we say that the safety of judges, prosecutors, and police officers in the execution of public duties is not guaranteed, how can we expect them to protect the safety of social justice yet.

And a last sentence to say: If the judge can not feel justice when he encounters violent resistance to law, how can he make people feel justice in every case?

From a retired intermediate court judge, published on Legal Readings (法律读品):

If there is no limit on public power, judicial power loses its authority (公权无抑遏,司法失权威).

Another Chinese judge killed

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 10.57.01 AM

The Chinese legal community is mourning Judge Ma Caiyun, who served in a tribunal of the Changping District Court, in suburban Beijing, is understood to have been killed outside her home by two men, one of whom was a party to a divorce property settlement case. (They have committed suicide.)  Her husband, a court policeman, was wounded.

Details recently released indicate that the two men attacked the husbands of their former wives, killing the husband of one, before killing the judge.  This domestic violence tragedy, seen elsewhere in the world, has occurred a few days before China’s new Domestic Violence Law goes into force.

Official commentary took over 24 hours to be released, as was pointed out in these caustic remarks (“what is the wait?) by a former judge.

One announcement by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), found here, initially stressed that she settled almost 400 cases each year and had received awards for her work, but has now been supplemented by an article linking her tragedy to earlier cases of violence against judges.

A article on the case posted on Wechat on 27 February by one of the prominent legal Wechat public accounts (CU检说法) was viewed almost half a million times in four hours before being removed and received almost 700 comments.

Today (28 February), many articles are being published on Wechat without being removed, so it appears that there has been a change in policy. Local court Wechat accounts have posted articles about the tragedy (always with one from the SPC), and many other legal public accounts have done so as well.  One of Judge He Fan’s (of the SPC) postings has received over 100,000 age views.

This tragedy is the latest in a series of violent attacks against judges, and like some of the earlier cases, was carried out by a man upset by the property settlement in his divorce case.

Donations are being collected by some former judges to give to the family of Judge Ma.