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Defendants No Longer Wear Prison Uniform in Chinese Courts
   2016-04-14 20:50:49    Xinhua      Web Editor: Fei Fei

The Supreme People's Court announces the revised protocol in Beijing on April 14, 2016. [Photo: Chinanews.com]

Defendants who stand trial while in custody will no longer have to wear prison uniforms, according to a revised protocol on court hearings made public Thursday.

The protocol, which has been in effect since 1994, has undergone a large-scale revision with 15 new articles added to better protect the rights of defendants and other participants of court hearings.

In most cases, defendants will not wear restraints, such as handcuffs or shackles, according to the document.

Witnesses, expert witnesses and victims in criminal cases can testify via video link from a separated room if they need special protection.

Courts have been asked to install barrier-free facilities so that disabled citizens can attend court hearings.

Measures are also adopted to ensure security and order in court. Except if being used as evidence, fire arms, explosives, controlled knives, unidentified liquid, gel and powder are now banned from all court rooms.

Without the court's permission, pictures or live broadcast of hearing has been banned, and posters, banners and leaflets can no longer be brought into court.

Those who disrupt court order, threaten judges, prosecutors and other parties, destroy court property or evidence during the hearing will face serious punishment.

Meanwhile, courts are encouraged to open more to the public. They are required to publish information about the hearings on official websites and billboards.

The court can run a live or recorded broadcast of hearings of important cases on TV, the Internet and other media. They will also allow media to cover the hearings.

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