15 Mar 2012 by in Criminal Defense Read 2932 times

China's legislature has approved revisions to a key criminal law that will restrict police powers to secretly detain people, at least on paper.

The changes to the criminal procedure law were the most high-profile ones approved Wednesday on the last day of the annual National People's Congress. The Communist Party-controlled body also approved the budget for this year that calls for a boost in domestic consumption to keep the economy expanding while overseas markets remain weak.

Some scholars have welcomed the criminal procedure changes, saying they will offer better protection of suspects and reflect increasing awareness in China of the need for stronger detainee rights, although enforcement of many laws in China is spotty.

Detentions in unofficial locations such as hotels or guesthouses in China are well-documented. Last year many people -- from renowned artist Ai Weiwei to rights lawyers and petitioners -- were illegally held in locations away from formal detention areas, sometimes for months.

14 Mar 2012 by in Criminal Defense Read 24014 times

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