The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, on 26 October 2018, passed the revised PRC Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), which introduces, among other things, the “default judgment” and “immediate judgment” procedures in criminal trials.
The default judgment procedure penalizes defendants who have absconded overseas in respect of bribery and corruption offences as well as activities that severely endanger national security (e.g., terrorist activities). The immediate judgment procedure expedites prosecution of defendants who plead guilty and accept penalty proposals. These are significant developments that enhance anti-bribery enforcement by the Chinese authorities and impose greater deterrence to bribery and corruption offences. They also echo global anti-corruption trends and reflect the continuous escalation of China’s anti-corruption campaign.
What it means for companies in China? Tracking down corrupt officials who have escaped overseas is an important component of China’s current anti-corruption enforcement regime. The new default judgment procedure provides a more powerful means for Chinese enforcement bodies to track down and recover illegal gains from such bribe recipients.
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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by e-mailing Danian Zhang (Shanghai) at email@example.com