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Title: Can China fully protect and prevent all detained persons from torture under its current legislative, institutional and political model?
Author: Gordon, Francesca L. T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 3321
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2018
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Far-reaching reforms are influencing every aspect of governance within the People’s Republic of China, including in its criminal justice system. Against this backdrop, this thesis critically considers current concerns regarding torture and other ill-treatment in China. It assesses to what extent persistent allegations of ill-treatment of detainees indicate endemic practices; examines the effectiveness of nascent torture prevention measures and identifies the factors that may enable resilience of abuse. Overall, it investigates whether torture prevention is effective within the PRC legal framework or whether it can become so on the current reform trajectory. To do so, the thesis sets out the scope of available legal protections against torture and ill-treatment in China, and assesses these in light of international law requirements so as to identify protection gaps and broader obstacles to prevention. The analysis examines these through the lens of three different justice processes: the criminal, administrative and Party. These are representative of China’s wider criminal justice system and the different routes through which persons can be deprived of their liberty. The analysis finds that while the criminal justice system is becoming more regulated, even here protection gaps remain. In the administrative and Party justice processes, almost all key safeguards against torture are missing: these remain legally ‘grey’ spheres. All three justice processes thus fail to protect every category of detainee and torture and ill-treatment continue. The thesis identifies the key factors contributing to the resilience of torture and ill-treatment in China and the required reforms. The analysis concludes that while China is taking significant steps towards preventing torture and ill-treatment, these have insecure foundations and suffer from fundamental deficiencies that can only be addressed by further legal, structural, institutional and political reform. This China case study can provide valuable lessons for other countries where ill-treatment has become endemic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: K Law (General)