Over a decade ago, the promulgation of the 1996 Criminal Procedure Law drastically improved the criminal justice system in China by introducing some key rights and procedural safeguards for criminal defendants. Unfortunately, in practice many of the rights introduced lacked real substance. The reforms were intended to introduce aspects of the adversarial system of justice to the historically inquisitorial system, however the safeguards introduced lacked the necessary guarantees to ensure compliance and the right to a fair trial is still far from a reality for China's criminal defendants.
The Right to a Fair Trial in China: The Criminal Procedure Law of 1996,
U. Pa. E. Asia L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/ealr/vol2/iss2/5