SAN FRANCISCO (October 24, 2014) — The Dui Hua Foundation held its fourth US-China juvenile justice exchange with the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in Beijing on October 13–14, 2014. Records sealing was the focus of the exchange.
Participants of the 4th US-China Juvenile Justice Exchange.
Judge Leonard Edwards (retired) of the Santa Clara Juvenile Court was the principal participant on the US side, which was led by Dui Hua Executive Director John Kamm. Also participating was Ms. Melodee Hanes, former acting director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Ms. Hanes is the wife of the American Ambassador to China, His Excellency Max Baucus.
The SPC Research Department Office of Juvenile Courts hosted the US team. The program consisted of a visit to the Haidian District Juvenile Court on October 13 and a full-day seminar in an SPC courtroom the following day. More than 40 judges attended the seminar from juvenile courts in 12 Chinese provinces and municipalities.
Judge Edwards, recognized as a leading expert in the field, reviewed the current state of juvenile record sealing in the United States and explained the advantages of automatic sealing in most juvenile cases. Ms. Hanes introduced the work of the OJJDP. Judge Jiang Ming, director of the Office of Juvenile Courts, addressed progress made in China since record sealing was introduced in the amended Criminal Procedure Law, effective January 1, 2013.
On October 14, Judge Hu Yunteng, member of the SPC Adjudication Committee, hosted a lunch for the US team. Judge Hu has led several Chinese delegations to sessions of the US-China Human Rights Dialogue. On October 15, National People’s Congress Internal and Judicial Committee Vice Chairman Wang Shengming welcomed the team for a meeting on protecting juvenile rights at the Great Hall of the People.
Executive Director Kamm lauded the exchange as an outstanding example of bilateral cooperation in the field of human rights. Judge Edwards said, “The program showed that American and Chinese judges share the same goals. We need to focus on making the juvenile court an effective institution to rehabilitate young lawbreakers. Both countries are committed to making it possible for a juvenile to have a fresh start as an adult and to insure that juvenile arrests do not make it difficult to gain employment or educational opportunities.”
Prior to the seminar, Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Li Baodong received Executive Director Kamm.