Lifelong responsibility has increasingly become a broad consensus in society. Public officials must pay for their faults
Transferred to retirement does not mean a safe landing
● Lifelong accountability of officials is a basic common sense in modern politics. No matter how long time passes, public officials must pay for their faults
● In recent years, the state has gradually introduced a lifelong accountability anti-corruption mechanism to force officials to use their powers in accordance with the law, and to prevent officials from engaging in "option corruption", that is, when officials are in office, they give benefits to others, and they will receive benefits after leaving office.
● Improve the decision-making mechanism in accordance with the law, determine public participation, expert argumentation, risk assessment, legality review, and collective discussion decisions as legal procedures for major administrative decision-making, establish a legality review mechanism for major decisions within administrative agencies, and establish a lifelong accountability system for major decisions. Responsibility review mechanism
□ reporter Wang Yang
□ Our newspaper trainee reporter Bai Chuxuan
On August 4, the retrial of Zhang Yuhuan’s intentional homicide case was pronounced. The Jiangxi Higher People’s Court revoked the original judgment and declared Zhang Yuhuan not guilty with “unclear facts in the original judgment and insufficient evidence”. Since October 27, 1993, Zhang Yuhuan has been detained for 9,778 days, and is currently the longest detained appealer in public reports.
After the sentence was pronounced, Zhang Yuhuan said: "The hardships I have endured in the past 27 years cannot be resolved with a single apology. I ask the judicial organs to hold criminals responsible for the torturers."
During the interview, an expert told reporters of the Rule of Law Daily that the Central Political and Legal Committee issued guidelines on effectively preventing unjust, false and wrong cases as early as July 2013, and made clear that judges, prosecutors, and the people’s police are responsible for lifelong quality of case handling. Claim. The accountability of the lifetime accountability system not only includes criminal accountability, but also party disciplinary sanctions, political disciplinary sanctions, and government disciplinary sanctions. China’s Criminal Law stipulates a statute of limitations for the investigation of criminal responsibility. After the corresponding time limit has passed, the investigation will not be pursued. However, the current "Regulations on Disciplinary Actions of the Communist Party of China", "Regulations on Disciplinary Measures for Civil Servants of Administrative Organs" and the Law on Disciplinary Measures for Public Officials do not deal with violations of party discipline The statute of limitations for investigation shall be subject to any regulations. "Official accountability for life is a basic common sense in modern politics. No matter how long time has passed, public officials must pay for their own faults. The persons involved in Zhang Yuhuan's torture and extortion of a confession to create an unjust case, even if he cannot be held criminally responsible, shall be punished accordingly. It must be inevitable."
Implement wrong case investigation and accountability
Effectively prevent unjust, false and wrong cases
In recent years, some unjust, false and wrong cases exposed in the criminal justice field are shocking, constantly challenging the authority of justice and impacting people's psychological bottom line.
Regarding the Zhang Yuhuan case, Wuhan lawyer Chen Yong believes that according to the Criminal Law, judicial staff members will face up to three years in prison or criminal detention. In this case, the retroactive statute of limitations for torture is five years. However, if torture causes serious consequences, such as intentional injury, the retrospective limitation can reach 20 years, but 27 years still exceeds the above-mentioned period. However, the Criminal Law also provides for the extension of the time limit for prosecution, which stipulates that if the victim filed a complaint within the time limit for prosecution, the Public Prosecution Law should file a case and not file a case, it is not restricted by the time limit for prosecution. "It is worth noting that the extension of the retrospective limitation was enacted in 1997, but the Zhang Yuhuan case occurred in 1993. Whether this provision applies is controversial."
As early as July 2013, the Central Political and Legal Committee issued guidelines on effectively preventing unjust, false and wrong cases. In response to outstanding problems in law enforcement and justice, in accordance with the current relevant laws and regulations, the principle of no doubt in the trial process and the principle of evidence judgment , Strict certification standards, protection of defense lawyers' defense rights, etc. have made reiterated provisions, and made clear requirements for judges, prosecutors, and people's police to be responsible for the quality of case handling for life.
In March 2015, the Ministry of Public Security issued the “Decision on Implementing the Spirit of the Fourth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Deepening the Standardization of Law Enforcement, and Building Public Security under the Rule of Law,” which clearly proposed the implementation of a lifetime responsibility system for handling cases and an accountability system for wrongful investigations.
On September 21, the Supreme People's Court issued the "Several Opinions of the Supreme People's Court on Improving the Judicial Responsibility System of the People's Courts", which pointed out that judges should be held responsible for the conduct of their judicial duties and responsible for the quality of case handling within the scope of their duties.
On September 28, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate issued the "Several Opinions on Improving the Judicial Responsibility System of the People’s Procuratorate", which stipulated that prosecutors must handle cases at the front line of justice and be responsible for the quality of case handling for life. Once an unjust, false, or wrong case is confirmed, questions will be initiated. Accountability mechanism. It stipulates that procuratorial personnel shall bear judicial responsibility for their performance of procuratorial duties and be responsible for the quality of case handling within the scope of their duties.
Zhang Yunshu, a professor at the Law School of Anhui University of Finance and Economics, believes that when the public prosecution law is fully covered by lifelong accountability, this means that lifelong accountability for unjust, false, and wrong cases has begun to be implemented throughout the judicial process, indicating that the pace of judicial reform is steady and strong. Facing the causes of wrong cases, scientifically defining the standards of wrong cases, and exploring the rationality, principles and boundaries of lifelong accountability are not only a legal issue, but also a major political issue.
Zhang Yunshu said that taking criminal proceedings as an example, if a case is identified as a wrong case and the judge is to be held accountable for life, at least the following conditions should be met in substance at the same time: First, the defendant has been convicted and sentenced by the court. Second, the defendant must be an innocent victim. Third, the referee's determination of the facts was wrong, subjectively intentional or gross negligence, and the defendant was not at fault for what happened to him. Fourth, the defendant suffered from the penalty, that is, the penalty has been objectively executed in whole or in part.
The reporter of "Rules of Law Daily" combed and learned that the previous accountability results of unjust, false and wrong cases were not satisfactory. In February 2016, the results of Inner Mongolia's Hugejile pattern accountability were announced. A total of 27 people were held accountable in the public security system. Except for Feng Moumou, then deputy director of the Xincheng Branch of the Hohhot Public Security Bureau, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for committing a duty crime, the remaining 26 people were sanctioned by the party or by administrative demerit.
Lifetime accountability is gradually improving
Become a broad consensus in society
In recent years, the state has gradually introduced a lifelong accountability anti-corruption mechanism to force officials to use power in accordance with the law and to prevent officials from engaging in "option corruption", that is, officials give benefits to others when they are in office and then take advantage of them after leaving office.
A reporter from the "Rule of Law Daily" sorted out and learned that the life-time responsibility system for officials has been promoted in many fields, such as the life-long system for investigating wrongful cases in the judicial field, the life-long system for engineering quality responsibility in the construction field, and the life-long system for environmental pollution in the environmental protection field. .
Once upon a time, some leading cadres did not hesitate to carry out image projects in order to achieve their political achievements, leaving a heavy burden on their successors and the local people, resulting in the reality of "a place for officials and a party for evil." When the negative effects were exposed, they had already slapped their butts and left.
An official from Huizhou City, Guangdong Province told a reporter from the Rule of Law Daily that the reason why a small number of leading cadres are keen on this short-term behavior is that China lacks an effective accountability mechanism, which leads to errors in official behaviors, which are often related to The transfer and promotion of the person in charge were cancelled.
On March 17, 2012, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province took the lead in issuing the "Decision on Several Issues Concerning the Construction of Honesty in the Creation of a Clean City (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)". It is proposed to stipulate that official acts will implement a lifelong responsibility system. The investigation is not separated due to the change of the position of the actor or the adjustment of the position.
At the national level, the first to propose a life-long accountability system was the "Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Several Major Issues concerning the Comprehensive Promotion of the Rule of Law." The decision proposes to improve the decision-making mechanism in accordance with the law, determine public participation, expert argumentation, risk assessment, legitimacy review, and collective discussion decisions as legal procedures for major administrative decisions, establish a legality review mechanism for major decisions within administrative agencies, and establish life-long responsibility for major decisions The accountability system and the mechanism of responsibility reverse investigation.
Based on this, Gansu, Jiangsu, Hubei, Shandong and other places have successively introduced implementation measures for major administrative decision-making procedures, stating that “If the decision-making organ violates the regulations and causes serious mistakes in decision-making, causing major losses or adverse effects, it should be inverted to investigate the responsibility and implement lifelong accountability.” .
Earlier, a huge flood occurred in Ningxiang County, Hunan Province, causing heavy losses. After the Hunan Provincial Party Committee conducted a responsibility inspection, many problems were pointed out in the relevant notifications, including the illegal decision of the local park in 2010 when a local park landscape project was repaired. The elevation of the flood dike was reduced, and the elevation of a section of the embankment was reduced by 1.3 Meters to 1.5 meters. Afterwards, in response to this problem, the provincial, municipal, and county three-level anti-fighters issued rectification notices or supervision letters six times, and the rectifications were not in place as required until the flood occurred.
After the incident, Ningxiang's four county party secretary was held accountable. In addition to the current county party secretary, the other three have been transferred to other counties and cities to serve as secretaries, one has been promoted to deputy secretary of the municipal party committee, and the other is promoted to the municipal party committee’s standing committee and united front minister.
In recent years, in the censorship and investigation news released by the disciplinary inspection and supervision agencies at all levels, it is not uncommon for retired officials to be investigated and dealt with. It continues to send a strong signal that there is no forbidden zone for anti-corruption and stricter discipline will be enforced in the future.
In January of this year, Lu Zhenhua, the former party secretary and chairman of Guangyi Construction Development Group Co., Ltd., Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, was expelled from the party and cancelled his retirement benefits, and his suspected crime was transferred to the judicial organs for handling.
According to the investigation, from 2005 to 2019, Lu Zhenhua, along with his boss Ma, who has been familiar with him for more than 20 years, made illegal profits of more than 6 million yuan. Lu Zhenhua asked Ma to set up a single account to keep these illegal proceeds for him. It was not until many years after retiring that he thought he was safe and asked Ma to transfer the money to himself along with the interest. As a result, the incident happened not long after.
In recent years, under the pressure of GDP-only assessment, some local officials, in order to improve economic indicators, did not hesitate to sacrifice the environment, causing a large number of environmental pollution and ecological damage, affecting the sustainability of economic development.
On May 13, 2015, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the opinions on accelerating the construction of ecological civilization, proposing to establish a responsibility system for the construction of ecological civilization during the tenure of leading cadres, and record the violation of the requirements of scientific development and cause serious damage to the resource environment. Implement lifelong accountability.
Pan Chao, a researcher at the Collaborative Innovation Center for Clean Government Construction of Hunan Technology and Business University, told the reporter of the Rule of Law Daily that the accountability of leading cadres at all levels is not absent, but there has been a significant drawback for a long time: if leading cadres are transferred or retire, as long as it is not a particularly important event, Under normal circumstances, no accountability will be held. In response to this problem, lifelong responsibility has increasingly become a broad consensus among all sectors of society and has become a normalized requirement of the Party Central Committee for leading cadres at all levels. This means that retirement is no longer a "safe haven", transfer no longer means a safe landing, and responsibilities no longer fail with time and space changes.
On September 1, 2019, the "Interim Regulations on Major Administrative Decision-Making Procedures" formulated by the State Council came into effect. In the Regulations, the implementation of life-long accountability for reverse investigation responsibility includes not only "the decision-making agency violates the provisions of this Regulation and causes serious errors in decision-making", but also includes "the decision-making agency should make timely decisions in accordance with the law and delays for a long time, causing heavy losses and adverse effects. ".
Strengthen the construction of the rule of law government
Effectively achieve unity of power and responsibility
On July 14 this year, the National Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection released information that Liu Guoqiang, the former vice chairman of the Liaoning Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was investigated three years after his retirement. This has become another case of lifelong accountability. According to incomplete statistics, since July alone, more than 100 retirees have undergone disciplinary review and supervision.
The statute of limitations for prosecution refers to the effective period of criminal responsibility for criminals as stipulated by criminal law. If the statute of limitations for prosecution of the crime has expired, no criminal responsibility shall be pursued.
The limitation of prosecution system is a legal system common to all countries in the world. The establishment of this system is mainly based on the following considerations: first, maintaining the stability of social relations; second, urging judicial organs to improve work efficiency, promptly prosecuting offenders and exercising the right to prosecute in a timely manner; third, because of the long time and evidence It may have been annihilated. Given the limited judicial resources, the current crimes are more worthy of the judicial authorities' focus on cracking down.
A reporter from the Rule of Law Daily found that the "Regulations on Disciplinary Actions of the Communist Party of China" implemented on October 1, 2018 did not provide for the statute of limitations, and the "Regulations on Disciplinary Actions of Civil Servants of Administrative Organs" only stipulated in Article 52 that "there are violations of law and discipline." Civil servants of administrative agencies whose conduct should be punished shall not be given sanctions if they have retired before the sanction decision agency makes the sanction decision", but there is no statute of limitations for the violation of discipline by serving civil servants.
With the goal of building a socialist country ruled by law in an all-round way, all actions of the country, government, and society must have a legal basis, and the lifelong accountability system for officials is no exception.
As early as March 22, 2004, the "Comprehensive Implementation Outline for the Implementation of Administration According to Law" issued by the State Council proposed that a sound decision-making follow-up and feedback and accountability system should be established. "Administrative agencies should determine institutions and personnel and regularly review decision-making Tracking and feedback on implementation, and timely adjustment and improvement of relevant decision-making. It is necessary to strengthen the supervision of decision-making activities, improve the supervision system and mechanism of administrative decision-making, and clarify the supervision subject, supervision content, supervision object, supervision procedure and supervision method. Based on the principle of whoever makes the decision, who is responsible, establish and improve the accountability system for decision-making, and realize the unification of decision-making power and decision-making responsibilities."
On October 10, 2010, the "Opinions of the State Council on Strengthening the Construction of a Government Ruled by Law" issued by the State Council pointed out that it is necessary to strengthen the tracking and feedback of major decision-making and accountability, "for violations of decision-making regulations, major decision-making errors, and major losses, the The principle of whoever makes decisions and who is responsible shall be strictly held accountable."
Hu Gongqun, a legislative consultant of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress, believes that a lifelong accountability system is necessary. First, it can effectively urge decision-makers to make democratic and scientific decisions. When a decision-maker realizes that the consequences and responsibilities of his decision-making will accompany his life, he will inevitably arouse great attention and can only be implemented after full demonstration and careful scrutiny. Second, the lifetime accountability system for major decision-making can effectively realize the unification of power and responsibility. Power and responsibility are two sides of the same body, and the exercise of power requires responsibility. Only by effectively unifying power and responsibility can the operation of power be truly regulated, the majesty of the law can be demonstrated, and the governance system can be more perfect. Third, the life-long accountability system for major decision-making can effectively maintain government credibility. Government credibility is a direct reflection of society’s recognition of the government and an important guarantee for the implementation of various policies. Through the accountability system, the government can be encouraged to make more scientific and correct decision-making, thereby enhancing the government's credibility and achieving more efficient economic and social governance.
Hu Gongqun said that the main basis for the accountability of officials in our country is the Civil Service Law, the Public Officials' Government Sanctions Law, the "Internal Supervision Regulations of the Communist Party of China", "The Regulations on Disciplinary Actions of the Communist Party of China" and the "Methods for the Accountability of Party and Government Leading Cadres for Environmental Damage ( Trial)” etc. In addition to the Civil Servants Law and the Public Officials' Government Sanctions Law, most of the others are internal party regulations and normative documents. The legal effect of this form of normative document is not high enough.
"The establishment of a lifelong accountability system for officials also requires a unified legislative step. Specifically, two methods can be adopted." Hu Gongqun believes that one is to amend the current civil service law and add provisions for a lifelong accountability system; amend the internal party supervision regulations to implement party and government coordination. The lifelong accountability system also applies to the party committee (party group) and its members. The second is to formulate a unified lifelong accountability law for officials, and clearly stipulate the principles, accountability subjects, accountability subjects, accountability procedures, remedies, and legal responsibilities of the lifetime accountability and accountability review mechanism.
Guo Zeqiang, a professor at the School of Criminal Justice of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law and chief expert of the Center for the Rule of Law and Judicial Reform, believes that there is no time limit for the accountability of official acts, which is a basic common sense in modern politics. It is the duty of the responsible government to hold public officials accountable for life and to carry out the responsibilities retrospectively. Lifelong accountability is not only a concrete measure to implement the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech on "implementing a system of accountability and accountability for life" since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, it is also the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee and the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Party. The specific embodiment of the requirements such as "establishing a lifetime accountability system for ecological environmental damage", "establishing a lifetime accountability system for major decision-making and a mechanism for inverting responsibility".