Bejing municipality higher people’s court has issued the Opinion on strengthening the rights and interests of affected parties in administrative litigation cases (关于加强行政相对人权益保护的意见, full text not available).
The opinion makes adjudication somewhat more transparent, by mandating that court proceedings in administrative cases be held openly and in public. It tries to reduce administrative organs’ interference in court proceedings by once more ruling that courts must accept cases filed in compliance with the Administrative Litigation Law. It reinstates the time limits for adjudication (3 months for first instance adjudication, 2 months for appeals – extension approved by the HPC), and requires that a people’s congress delegate be present at the adjudication of “big and important cases” (重大案件 – criteria to define big and important cases are set by the Supreme People’s Court or Supreme People’s Procuratorate on the basis of the circumstances of the acts performed by the defendant). Courts are also to explicitly required to inform plaintiffs of their procedural rights.
Wang Zhenqing, the deputy president of Beijing HPC’s administrative section, stated to a Caijing journalist that when the Administrative Litigation Law came into force officials held that “we will never sit in the defendant’s chair” – things have since then changed. But administrative agencies still interfere in administrative litigation cases filed against them. Wang stated that such interference is not acceptable, since courts should be guided by the Constitution and the law. Policy (政策) comes next.