China introduces default judgment to revised Criminal Procedure Law
China's top legislature on Friday passed a resolution to introduce "default judgment" in criminal trials to prosecute suspects who stay overseas and are involved in offenses of corruption, severely endangering state security or terrorist activities.
To qualify a trial involving "default judgment" of the latter two types of crimes, there should be a time-sensitive urgency in handling the case and an approval from the Supreme People's Procuratorate, according to the revised Criminal Procedure Law.
In the meantime, the revision also imposes stringent rules, requiring the courts to examine whether a case is applicable to a "default judgment."
If a court decides to proceed with a trial in the absence of the defendant, a subpoena and indictment papers should be delivered through relevant channels, the revision says.
It also gives the defendant the right to an attorney, who could also be entrusted by the defendant's close relatives, or assigned by legal aid agencies.
After the judgment is issued, the defendant and the close relatives could also appeal to the court of the next higher level, the revised law says.