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On the Linkage of Public Security’s Investigative and Administrative Powers

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.10, 2019

 

On the Linkage of Public Security’s Investigative and Administrative Powers

(Abstract)

 

Zhang Zetao

 

China’s public security agencies exercise both investigative and administrative powers. The practice of public security and the justice system to some extent interlinks the application of public security’s criminal investigation powers and administrative powers, with the latter replacing the former at times and vice versa. This situation exists not only in China but also in other countries. This two-in-one model of pursuit of illegal and criminal acts, the way in which cases fall under either public order or the criminal system, and the difference between the looseness of administrative procedures and the strictness of criminal procedures, mean that public security’s investigative power overlaps with its administrative power. Distinguishing public security’s investigative power from its administrative power is the precondition for linking them; it is necessary both for fighting crime and protecting human rights and for improving law enforcement operations and the management, supervision, and control of public security agencies’ law-enforcement power. The jurisprudential principle behind making this distinction is to improve the operating mechanism and the management, supervision, and control of public security agencies’ law-enforcement powers, and to organically unite cracking down on crime with human rights protection; the pursuit of efficiency with the realization of justice; and the purposes of law enforcement with its forms. In distinguishing between public security’s investigative and administrative activities at the institutional level, it would be advisable to adopt a comprehensive weighting standard, establish the principle of proportionality, standardize procedures for converting administrative evidence into criminal evidence and rules for substantive restrictions, improve the relevant provisions in the Administrative Procedure Law and the Law on State Compensation, and make appropriate adjustment to the two-in-one model of illegality and crime.