Monday, December 28, 2020

9 years old girl almost need repay dad debt

 A Chinese court’s decision to punish a nine-year-old girl for failing to repay her dead father’s debts has triggered heated debate about the growing reach and power of the country’s judicial system.

The punishment also prompted concerns about the country’s burgeoning social credit system.
The social credit system is similar to a credit-scoring system. It punishes individuals and businesses that fail to follow rules and regulations and rewards those who perform actions deemed beneficial to society, based on a wide range of data it collects.

“Thanks to media exposure, the court reversed its decision,” said David Zhou, a criminal defence lawyer based in Beijing. The report coupled with the girl’s tragic family history had put immense pressure on the Henan court, he added.

As China speeds up the building of a comprehensive social credit system, which can punish citizens deemed “untrustworthy” by a court, Man’s case reflects the power the courts have over Chinese people.

“The change of the ruling showed that the judges didn’t look thoroughly into [Man’s] case and her ability to pay back debt before punishing her,” said Zhou.

“A Chinese court can decide by itself, without the presence of the defendant or their lawyer, whether to issue a spending restriction order. This puts the defendant in a vulnerable place,” he added.
China's Premier Wen Jiabao talks to a student who survived the earthquake during his inspection of a temporary school set up inside a tent in Mianyang, Sichuan province on May 23, 2008.

According to the law, judges need to consider factors including the defendant’s attitude to paying off the debt, their financial situation and past financial records before issuing a spending restriction order.

The combination of surveillance technology and expansive governmental powers under the social credit system gives China the ability to correct a citizen’s behaviour almost instantly, once it is deemed incompatible with the social credit system, Zhou said.

“Everyone is like a rat in a cage in such a society. Many aspects of the rat’s nature can be altered by monitoring and simultaneously correcting them,” Zhou added, referring to one of the possible effects on residents of living in a tightly monitored society.

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