Disappear us if you want, but please at least come up with a better argument

No sooner has criticism of the proposed CPL revision been raised, than a rebuttal has come from the People’s Daily, writing that critics have come to an absurd conclusion.

What’s so absurd in criticizing the proposed revision (albeit more vocally than PRC scholars have done)? According to the  article: 
Crimes against state security, crimes of terrorism and other crimes involving state security and public order 国家安全和公共安全 involve several accomplices. Therefore, if detention is notified too early, investigating these crimes may prove more difficult.

I see. If an official, a spy, an ethnic separatist, an activist etc. just disappears everyone will think they´ve hit the big one, won the big jackpot and fled to Santo Domingo, right?


And what do crimes against public order have to do with the amendment, if the proposed text does not mention them?

The revision limits investigative powers. If you look at the 1980 and 1996 Criminal Procedure Law, you will see that in the past everyone could have been detained covertly.

True, article 43 of the 1980 CPL and article 64 of the 1996 CPL could be used to covertly detain virtually all criminal suspects. But, this was just a possibility. How did these rules work in practice?

Could it be – as this author says and you can bet he knows his stuff! – that covert detention was mostly used on sensitive cases ? If this is the case, then where´s the progress the People´s Daily talks about?

And if before passing any judgment on the CPL revision we should read earlier legal documents, then why don’t we also analyze the content of internal police rules? We know such rules exist, but we don’t know why – if things are really getting so much better – they have not been compared to provisions in the 1980 and 1996 CPL and to the proposed amendment.

In the future, the exception will concern a small number of suspects or defendant.


That covert detention may be used on some people is not really an argument. Lifting procedural guarantees means lifting procedural guarantees, no matter whether 10 or 10.000 people are involved. By this logic, we would have no reason to point our fingers at extraordinary renditions, the detention of illegal migrants and the fingerprinting of gypsies. Because, after all, the majority of criminal suspects are treated much better than them.

If everybody is equal before the law (33 Constitution, 6 CPL), why then are some more equal than others?

Also while some suspects can be detained without notice, this rule does not apply to corruption suspects, who nonetheless can be still placed under residential surveillance at “a designated place”.

This is the text of the proposed amendment 

Residential surveillance shall be executed at the domicile of a criminal suspect or defendant. When [a criminal suspect or defendant] has no stable domicile, it can be executed at a designated place.
In cases involving crimes against state security, crimes of terrorism or grave crimes of corruption, if execution at a [suspect or defendant´s] domicile may hinder investigation, [residental surveillance] can, after approval by the next higher level people´s procuracy or public security organ, be executed at a designated place. But, detention facilities, places deputed to handling cases cannot be designated to execute [supervised residence].
When during the executing of residential surveillance notification is not possible, except for cases involving crimes against state security, terrorism when notification may hinder investigation, the reason of residential surveillance and the place of execution must be notified to the family of those placed under supervised residence within 24 hours of its execution.
When residential surveillance is executed at a designated place, criminal suspects, defendants placed under residential surveillance entrust a lawyer according to provisions in article 33 of the present law.
People´s procuracies supervise the legality of the decision on and execution of supervised residence at a designated place.

监视居住应当在犯罪嫌疑人、被告人的住处执行;无固定住处的,可以在指定的居所执行。对于涉嫌危害国家安全犯罪、恐怖活动犯罪、重大贿赂犯罪,在住处执行可能有碍侦查的,经上一级人民检察院或者公安机关批准,也可以在指定的居所执行。但是,不得指定在羁押场所、专门的办案场所执行。指定居所监视居住的,除无法通知或者涉嫌危害国家安全犯罪、恐怖活动犯罪,通知可能有碍侦查的情形以外,应当把监视居住的原因和执行的处所,在执行监视居住后二十四小时以内,通知被监视居住人的家属。指定居所监视居住的,被监视居住的犯罪嫌疑人、被告人委托辩护人,适用本法第三十三条的规定。人民检察院对指定居所监视居住的决定和执行是否合法实行监督。


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