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China Refines Rules for Sealing Juvenile Criminal Records

Mon, 11 Jul 2022
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 30 May 2022, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and several departments jointly issued the “Implementing Measures on the Sealing of Juvenile Criminal Records” (关于未成年人犯罪记录封存的实施办法, hereinafter referred to as the “Implementing Measures”).

More often than not, criminal records serve to “label” the offenders. When the public knows about these“labels”, they tend to excessively ostracize the ex-offenders, thereby hindering the social reintegration of ex-offenders.

To help juvenile offenders return to society, Article 286 of China’s Criminal Procedure Law establishes the juvenile criminal records sealing system.

It states, “Where a juvenile has not attained the age of 18 when committing a crime and is sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of five years or a lighter punishment, the criminal records concerned shall be sealed for preservation. In principle, no sealed criminal records shall be provided to any entity or individual, except those required by judicial authorities for case handling or accessed by relevant entities according to national regulations. The entity that accesses the sealed criminal record in accordance with law shall keep the information therein confidential.”

As the provision of the Criminal Procedure Law is relatively simple, in practice, the subjects and procedures of sealing or accessing criminal records, as well as the content that was sealed or accessed, varied from case to case. Therefore, the Implementation Measures were promulgated to further specify the existing juvenile criminal record sealing system.



Cover Photo by Jessica Holmes on Unsplash


Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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