The Xingshi Hejie: Criminal Conciliation in Mainland China and in Taiwan
from the paper by Riccardo Berti:
When we say Xingshi Hejie (刑事和解), which could be translated as “victim offender reconciliation” (VOR), we are talking about a conciliatory practice that was only recently implemented in China's criminal legal system although, despite its recent appearance, it has very ancient roots.
It is founded, basically, on a choice that the person accused of minor criminal offenses makes to enable a conciliatory procedure, with the consent of the judge and the prosecutor, in order to obtain a less severe punishment at the end of the judicial process. It is a procedure that allows the victim to receive and promotes the offender’s repentance, in fact very often the rules of Xingshi Hejie emphasize the formal apology from the offender to the victim and society, or his acts expressing repentance and contrition.
Not adding up: Criminal reconciliation in Chinese juvenile justice
Recent amendments to China’s Criminal Procedure Law involve special procedures for handling cases involving juvenile defendants and resolving cases through criminal reconciliation. Although the law does not explicitly link the two, criminal reconciliation has been a key feature in the development of China’s juvenile justice system under the principle of “education first, punishment second.”
Dui Hua welcomes criminal reconciliation as a means to restorative justice and reduced juvenile incarceration, but research suggests that the relatively new measure is experiencing some growing pains in China. Jiang Jue (姜珏), a PhD candidate in the School of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has done extensive research on criminal reconciliation in China and has seen how the process works in many juvenile cases. Her research indicates that current implementation of criminal reconciliation falls short of juvenile justice principles by alienating youth and stifling attempts at education.