爱思英语编者按:从官方数据看,中国好像并不缺司法人员。中国现有司法人员人数约20万人,即每10万个居民中就有超过14人从事司法工作,每个中国法院的在职人数平均约为60人。

Legal reform 法治改革

Judging judges
审判法官

Tohelp build “the rule of law”, China is demoting judges
为了建设法治社会,中国政府开始清理司法人员

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1 “I WAS tired of it. I did not like thepressure, so I chose freedom.” This is how a former Chinese judge describes hisdecision to quit as president of a provincial court and take up a new job inacademia. It would have helped if he had earned more. A judge with years ofcourt experience makes as much as a well-paid college graduate—a fraction ofwhat a lawyer could earn, or a law professor who does freelance work on theside. Hence many of China’s best-qualified court officials are quitting. Thegovernment, eager to show that it is building “rule of law”, is struggling tostop the haemorrhage.
“我受够了。我不喜欢这种压迫,我宁愿选择自由一点的职业。”这是中国一位前省级法院院长辞去原职、转投学术后给出的解释。如果当法官的收入能高点,可能他就不会辞职了。即使是一个有多年法庭经验的法官,他的收入也仅仅和一个待遇较好的大学毕业生差不多,而只相当于一个律师或副职自由撰稿工作的法学教授收入的一部分。因此,中国许多一流的法院官员都渐渐辞职。中国一直热衷于建设“法治国家”,因此政府也在尽力地挽救这一颓势。

2 Official statistics would seem to suggestthat China is not short of judges. There are said to be around 200,000 of them,or more than 14 per 100,000 inhabitants. Each Chinese court has an average ofaround 60. By comparison, litigiousAmerica has 11 judges per 100,000 citizens. But in China many of those describedas judges work in administrative roles, and many do not have law degrees.Well-qualified judges have thus found their caseloads soaring—but not their pay. They still earnthe same as back-office colleagues who also, inappropriately,enjoy the title of judge. To the chagrin, nodoubt, of some, President Xi Jinping’s fierce campaign against corruption,launched when he came to power three years ago, has reduced opportunities fortaking backhanders.
从官方数据看,中国好像并不缺司法人员。中国现有司法人员人数约20万人,即每10万个居民中就有超过14人从事司法工作,每个中国法院的在职人数平均约为60人。即使是在诉讼频发的美国,每10万个居民中也只有11位司法工作者。但在中国,许多被称为法官的人从事的是行政工作,而他们中的很多人没有法学位。因此,能力卓越的法官发现他们案头上的诉讼堆积如山,而薪水却没有跟着水涨船高。他们和那些坐班的同事们的工资一样多,而这些人同时也享有不属于他们的法官头衔。无疑更令他们中某些人感到烦恼的是,由于习近平主席三年前上台执政时就开展的猛烈反腐行动,他们能收回扣的机会不复当初了。

3 Mr Xi’s anti-graft drive is part of acampaign to convince a cynical public that the Communist Party is bound by thelaw and wants it to be applied fairly. To achieve this, he is trying to reformthe courts to allow justice to be dispensed more swiftly and impartially.Officials have been threatened with punishment if they interfere with cases.The pay of proper judges will be boosted substantially. The size of theincrease has not been made public, but it is expected to be at least 50% atfirst. And their status will, in effect, be enhanced by downgrading the titlesof lesser judges.
习主席的反腐行动是想向愤慨的公众传递出一个讯息:共产党也受法律约束,同时希望法律面前人人平等。为了达到这一目标,习近平试图通过改革法院,来使司法公正能更快更平等地实现。每个政府官员都遭到警告:如果他们试图干涉案件,那么等待他们的就是严厉的惩罚。某些法官的薪金待遇将有实质性的提高。虽然提升的幅度没有向大众公开,但估计一开始至少是高达50%的提升。他们的地位也会随着带有法官头衔人数的减少而上升。

Not so easy 没那么简单

4 At a meeting of court officials in July, adeputy chief of the Supreme Court, Shen Deyong, said there would be “a seriesof challenges and difficulties” in implementing reforms. But he said thattargets for sifting the ranks of judges would be strictly enforced. He orderedcourts to begin evaluating their staff to see who should make the grade. In Shanghai, courts have been ordered toretain only a third of their judges. The rest are to be given new, morefitting, titles, such as “legal assistant” and “administrative officer”.
7月举行的法院官员会议上,最高法院副院长沈德咏表示在实施改革的过程中将会遇到“一系列的挑战和难题”,但他强调筛选合格法官的行动将会坚决执行。他下令法院开始审查法院在职人员,看看有多少人符合法官的标准。而剩余没有符合标准的人会被赋予更适当的新头衔,例如“法律助理”和“行政人员”等。

5 Given the heavy-handed way Mr Xi hastightened his personal grip on the levers of power, suppressed the media and intimidatedindependent lawyers, it is easy to doubt his commitment to the rule of law. ButSusan Finder, an expert on China’s legal system based in Hong Kong, says thatthe reforms are nonetheless making a difference. The majority of court cases,she notes, do not touch on politically sensitive issues of the kind thatindependent lawyers often like to take up, such as abuses of power by localofficials. It is therefore possible to improve the judiciary (not least in theeyes of the public) without threatening the party’s grip on power.
鉴于习近平极大地加强了自己对权力的控制、粗暴地镇压媒体以及恐吓自由律师等做法,我们很难相信他对于法治建设做下的承诺。但研究中国法律制度的专家、现居香港的苏珊·法艾德尔称,尽管如此,改革还是能够使局面有所改观。她注意到,大多数法庭审理的案件都没有触及到自由律师经常喜欢涉及的政治敏感话题,例如地方政府官员的权力滥用等。因此,中国的司法——尤其是在公众眼中的司法,就可能在不影响到共产党对权力控制的同时获得进步。

6 In political cases, few doubt the partywill continue to put its thumb on the scales of justice. It does this through“political and legal committees” which co-ordinate the work of the police,prosecutors and judiciary at every level. The power of these committees reacheda peak under Zhou Yongkang, who was the leader of the party’s most powerfulbody of this kind between 2007 and his retirement in 2012. Despite the recentsentencing of Mr Zhou to life imprisonment in a sensational corruption case,there is no sign that Mr Xi wants to abolish the committees—even if he wouldlike to reduce their involvement in the decision-making of courts.
对于政治类案件,许多人都相信政府不会继续操纵司法的天平。以前,政府通过“政治和法律委员会”来综合警察、检察人员和法官的工作,这在每一级司法单位都存在。这种委员会的权力在周永康的掌控下达到了顶峰,而他曾在2007年到2012年退休前担任党内这种最有权力的实体的主要掌权人。除了最近在一起轰动的贪污案中宣判周永康终身监禁外,习近平没有透露出一丝废除这类委员会的意思,虽然他也希望减少这些委员会对于法庭判刑过程的干涉。

7 In civil and commercial cases, officialsoften interfere to protect their own interests, or those of friends or family.This causes much public resentment and is the main reason why thousands ofpetitioners head to Beijing every year to seek redress from the centralgovernment—a potential cause of social unrest that alarms the authorities. Lastmonth measures were enacted that prohibit courts from heeding requests from “any organisation or individual”that would impede judicial fairness. Courts must now record and report promptly and fully on such requests, even oral ones, “so thatthe entire process leaves a trail, permanently preserved”.
而在有关民权和商贸的案件中,官员常常为了保护自己或者他们亲友的利益干涉法庭审讯。这就造成公众的不满以及每年成千上万的人到北京请愿,他们希望让中央政府更改判决。而请愿是社会动荡的潜在原因,令有关部门警惕不已。上个月,有关禁止法院听取“任何组织或个人”的意见以维护司法公正的新措施实施。根据新规定,不论书面还是口头内容,现在法院都需要作好完整记录并迅速上交。“因为只有这样,整个过程才能永远留下证据”。

8 To shield courts further from interference,responsibility for judges’ salaries and job assignments will shift from governments at the samelevel to higher-level ones. These are considered less likely to have a stake in the verdicts.为了进一步保护法院不受干扰,有关法官薪水和工作安排等职责从同级政府向高一级转移,因为高一级政府通常与下级法院判刑不太可能有利益关系。

9 The reforms should greatly improve theworking environment for those judges who keep their titles, as should theincrease in salaries. That they are urgently needed is evident: in Shanghaialone, according to state media, 86 judges resigned last year—half of them withadvanced degrees in law. The majority were younger judges who were among the system’s most highly prized. Between January and the end of March,another 18 had quit, amid double-digit growth in the number of cases beinghandled by the city’s courts.改革应该大幅提升保有头衔的法官的工作环境和薪金水平。很明显,政府十分需要做出这些改变——就上海市而言,据官方媒体报道,去年有86位法官辞职,其中半数有高级法学学位。这些辞职法官中大都在体制内备受推崇而年龄却不大。在一月到三月末,上海法院需要处理的案件数量以双位数增长,但却又有18位法官其间辞职。

10 As the title adjustments get under way,those who fail to makethe cutwill face a difficult choice: stay on with their diminished status or seekemployment elsewhere. Coming out on the losing end of the evaluation processmay not be a stellar credential. But the value of their powerful connectionsshould still be worth something in the job market.当头衔评定进行时,那些没有符合标准的人将面临两难选择:是继续在他们缩水的岗位上待着,还是另谋高就。虽然评定不及格的人在跳槽选择时也许不再能沾法院的光了,但他们强大的关系网在人才市场中还是有其价值的