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International Students at Changping District People's Court
Last Modified:  2011-12-13 15:49:58
Only one month after being released from prison for theft L.Y., international students heard, was accused of burglary. This second court visit for international students taking CLTE courses was to the Changping District People’s Court on December 7, 2011.

Changping District People's Court

Finger prints had been found on a stolen car. The defendant was traced using records kept after his previous incarcerations, also for theft. The overwhelming evidence led the defendant to confess and to simplified trial procedures being used.
CESL students outside the court

Students had been given a translation of the indictment before attending the trial. Consecutive interpretation of court proceedings and the question and answer sessions was provided by CUPL Professor Yue Liling. After the trial, Ou Chunguang, head of the criminal trial division, fielded questions from students.

"At what exact point in proceedings was the defense counsel appointed? How much time do legal aid lawyers generally have to study the relevant documents, meet with the defendant and prepare the defense?" Asked Manuel Aldemira

"According to the Criminal Procedure law,” replied Justice Ou, “the court has discretion to appoint counsel on their behalf of defendants who have financial difficulties and confess to their crimes. The defendant in this case confessed and he had no lawyer due to his impoverished circumstances, thus the Changping District Court approached the Changping legal aid center with a request to appoint a defense lawyer. After the legal aid center received the request they designated a lawyer to represent the defendant. The lawyer can come to the court to check the files and meet with the defendant. If evidence beneficial to the defense is discovered, they are free to investigate and present their findings during the hearing.”
Juvenile courts in China focus on education, rehabilitation and change

"In sentencing the defendant will the judge take into account the confession?” Sebastian Lehman asked.

Justice Ou explained that first a minimum sentence will be established. The defendant is a recidivist and stole an extremely large amount of property so a harsher sentence will be given. Next mitigating factors such as the confession will be considered.

Students also asked about the differences between courts in China. To illustrate this point, justice Ou took students to the juvenile court, where the focus is on education, rehabilitation and change.
Although students did not hear the verdict in the L.Y. case, they will also visit a prison as part of their CLTE programme.

Photographs courtesy of Changping District People's Court