Home / Opinion / Opinion Line

Clear charging standards for judicial expertise required

China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-10 07:59

A LAWYER FROM CHENGDU in Southwest China's Sichuan province has revealed on his micro blog that the cost of the judicial expertise for a case, which involved checking a signature, a fingerprint and two stamps, was 170,000 yuan ($24,767). The judicial expertise agency responded that it followed a national charging regulation. However, that regulation was abolished last May. Lao Yue, a retired prosecutor, commented on Beijing News:

When the incident was reported by media outlets, the judicial expertise agency said that there is no new regulation yet so it followed the old one. This is a poor defense because as soon as a regulation is abolished, it is no longer law and cannot be quoted as legal support for any actions.

Actually, ever since it was jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Justice in 2009, the old regulation has been blamed for setting too high charging standards. According to the regulation, the price of judicial expertise was set as a certain percentage of the claim; but many argued that the cost of judicial expertise has nothing to do with how much money is involved in a judicial case. The judicial experts spend the same time and energy identifying each signature and fingerprint, no matter how big a deal it involves.

That's why the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planner, abolished the regulation. It also made it clear that before a new regulation comes into effect, the charging of judicial expertise should be co-decided by government price departments and judicial administrative departments at the provincial level. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the judicial expertise agency in the case is wrong and it should not have charged as it did.

Lack of proper charging standards is only one of the chaotic situations in the judicial expertise sector. In order to ensure their independence, the law requires judicial expertise agencies to be third-party agencies affiliated to no judicial agency, but some agencies run like commercial companies. Some of them overcharge, while some of them abuse the power by giving false results in certain cases after taking bribes.

To ensure justice, it is time that judicial departments at various levels better regulated these judicial expertise agencies.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours