Will the 76 new rules allow to fight police misconduct?

On April 21, the Ministry of Supervision, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security Discipline Regulations on Police organs and the People’s Police were issued.

It is expected that the Regulations will help “fight police misconduct” – police officers who violate any of its 76 prohibitions can be demoted, dismissed or face criminal charges. In reality, they may just extend the so-called dual-track system of investigation of party members’ misconduct to police organs.

Two organs enjoy the power to investigate police misconduct: the people’s procuracies and “supervision organs” (监察机关). The former are state organs, while the latter (as noticed by Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Gong Ting and others) are just party discipline organs operating under a different name. According to the Regulations, cases of police misconduct are first dealt with by state supervision aka party discipline organs. This is one of the mechanisms that can be used to leave crimes unpunished – two more such mechanisms exist, and are described here.

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