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China to Begin Holding Jury Trials


China says it will begin holding jury trials next year as part of reforms aimed at getting the court system to give greater attention to financial fraud and other cases arising from the country's sweeping economic changes.

State-run media including the official Xinhua news agency say jurors must have at least two years of university-level education. They would be elected to five-year terms, and then receive special training.

There was no explanation about how jury trials will differ from current proceedings, or how jurors' elections will be conducted.

State media also quote the president of China's Supreme People's Court as saying the number of judges in the court system will rise by 10 percent. The chief judge, Xiao Yang, promises a crackdown on offenses such as corruption and dereliction of duty, smuggling and intellectual-property theft.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.

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