Beijing : Chinese courts are much weaker than India’s, an opinion piece in a Chinese daily said, adding that initiating a PIL in India “comes with no political risk, but it is not the case in China”.
The article, “Indian’s open court an example for China”, was authored by Wang Sixin, a law professor with Communication University of China.
Wang, who visited India as part of a delegation of Chinese legal professors, wrote in Global Times that in India, the common law tradition lets judges, especially in higher courts, play a pivotal role.
“They even can begin litigation just based on a news report or a letter from a petitioner, whether a lawyer or not. Just about anyone can initiate PIL (Public Interest Litigation), often for very little cost, whereas in China the individual has no right to initiate PIL unless his or her rights are directly undermined,” wrote Wang Friday.
Noting that PIL in India was mostly aimed at the government, he said that in China, “PIL is usually aimed at companies which do great harm to public interests. Officials and government agencies are rarely sued, even though part of the reason of the harm is due to misconduct of the government”.
It added that courts play a crucial role in clarifying the law, enforcing the law, and maintaining the authority of the law and the constitution. “But Chinese courts are much weaker than India’s.”
The opinion piece went on to say the doors of the Indian courts were “always open to PIL, and initiating PIL comes with no political risk, but it is not the case in China.
“The range of PIL in China can be wider than India, since it concerns not only the government, but also companies and other social injustices. Some may be concerned about potential misuses of PIL, but this should not be a worry; at present, the priority should be to get the courts to open their doors more widely to accept PIL,” he added.