The annual internal disciplinary inspection of courts took place in October, South China Morning Post reported. All courts in the country were ordered to investigate whether employees had violated regulations, such as accepting favours from people involved in cases they handled, with higher courts arranging inspections of intermediate courts under their supervision.
Foreigners to receive legal aid The Ministry of Justice announced that new legislation would establish the right of foreigners to legal aid in China, South China Morning Post said. The scheme was established in 1994 to provide legal aid to underprivileged groups and low-income earners and now has 2,299 offices nationwide. Since 1997, it has handled 630,000 cases and almost all of those receiving legal aid were mainlanders.
The ministry explained that after China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation, there would probably be an increase in cases involving foreigners who could not afford legal fees. Most resources would also be invested in coastal areas to train lawyers in foreign languages.
Death sentence for snack poisoner The owner of a fast food outlet in Tangshan was sentenced to death for poisoning snacks at a rival’s shop, the BBC reported. Police told the court that Chen Zhenping had confessed to putting rat poison in the food of a local branch of the Heshengyuan Soy Milk chain because it was more successful than his own. At least 38 people, many of them children, died from eating the poisoned snacks.