Chinese courts record huge rise in civil cases
Chinese courts recorded a huge rise in civil cases involving employment, health, housing and consumer rights last year, the country's top judge said on Tuesday.
following the introduction of a new employment law in January 2008, the courts settled 286,221 labour dispute cases, up 94 per cent, Supreme People's Court president Wang Shengjun, told the ongoing annual session of China's nominal parliament, the National People's Congress, reported dpa.
Courts nationwide judged 576,013 cases involving medical services, housing, and consumer protection, a rise of 45 per cent from 2007, Wang said.
They also concluded 1.14 million cases linked to financial and real estate disputes, an increase of 15 per cent, he said.
The courts heard 768,130 criminal cases last year and issued sentences ranging from five years to life in prison, or the death sentence, to 159,020 convicted criminals, Wang said.
In keeping with the government's customary secrecy, he gave no figures for the number of death sentences or executions.
The Supreme People's Court introduced a system to review and ratify all death sentences in 2007.
Wang said the highest court examined 10,553 cases last year, up 30 per cent, but again he did not say how many were related to death sentences.
China claims that the number of death sentences has fallen under the new system of ratification by the Supreme People's Court but has produced no statistics to back the claim.
Amnesty International has used state media reports to record about 1,000 executions annually in recent years, more than the rest of the world put together.
Many analysts said they believe the actual number of executions remains far higher.