Chinese judges resigning out of frustration

The Main Point

The rule of law requires an adequate number of judges.  A recent report suggests that low pay and “bureaucratic intervention” are making it difficult to China to keep its judges on the bench.

Key Events

A story by the China Economic Weekly reported that China is having trouble retaining and building its ranks of judges. Key points as follows


  • The number of judges in all courts grew from 59,000 in 1979 to 195,000 in 2011. Unlike in the past, the overwhelming majority have university degrees. Yet, the number of judges has barely grown since 2007, while the number of cases has swelled by almost 50%.
  • Of the over 2,000 judges recruited in Beijing in 2008-2012, almost 17% left their jobs,
  • Reason for resigning include low pay, pressure caused by oversized case-loads, and bureaucratic interference (i.e., being told how to rule).