The Supreme People's Court of China has recently publicized its new Five Year Reform Plan, outlining various steps for improving the "independence of judicial power", even while categorically rejecting "Western style" judicial independence. From the author of the closely followed "Supreme People's Court Monitor", this presentation will delve into the "why, what, and how" of the Reform Plan. In particular, it will explain the key details of the plan, assess its potential impact (in the context of general efforts towards judicial reform since the installation of new SPC President Zhou Qiang), and consider the challenges that lie ahead. The presentation will also speak to the methodological challenges of monitoring these developments from outside the Chinese court system and even China itself.
Susan Finder, who has been observing the Supreme People’s Court for over 20 years, works at the intersection with academics and practice. She is based in HK, where she is currently Visiting Fellow at the Center for Chinese Law of the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, consults for the UN Development Programme and other organizations, and occasionally writes for The Diplomat, the Global Military Justice Reform blog, Practical Law China, Huffington Post, and other publications. Previously, she was an editor with Practical Law China, a legal know-how division of Thomson Reuters. Earlier in her career, she taught Chinese law and other subjects in the Law Department of the City University of Hong Kong, where she wrote the first close analysis of the operations of the Supreme People’s Court. Her Supreme People's Court Monitor blog (http://supremepeoplescourtmonitor.com/) is widely read for its analysis of current judicial reforms in China.