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Legal reforms top agenda of China leaders meeting

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Legal reforms top agenda of China leaders meeting

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Against the backdrop of continuing protests in Hong Kong China’s leaders have come together to discuss key governance issues at a top level meeting in Beijing.

The 18th Chinese Communist Party Plenum will not, however, change the situation for the protesters in the territory as the focus is on the rule of law and tackling corruption.

Among the key reforms set to be unveiled over the next three days is a drive to limit the influence of local officials on court cases.

Business leaders, including private firms and foreign investors, have long complained about unfairness in the legal system in disputes between companies. It is felt judges are swayed by local political interests.

A fairer judicial process will, it is argued, boost the economy in the long run.

While the Party seeks to limit the influence of local officials on court proceedings this is not seen as a step towards setting up an independent judiciary in the country.

A shake-up of the legal process is seen as part of a push by President Xi Jingping to crack down on corruption at all levels of society in China.

Some 370 party Central Committee members take part in the annual plenum, which some observers say rubbers merely stamps decisions taken by the President.