Several months back, the Central Party Political-Legal Committee (CPPLC) designated Zhan Hongli, a juvenile court judge from Fujian province, as a “national model judge” deserving study by judges and officials throughout China. (For the relevant CPPLC and Supreme Court notices, see here and here, respectively). Since then, articles (such as this one) praising her work have begun pouring forth in the state media.
Themes from this campaign parallel those seen in recent years (and discussed in detail in this article): judicial populism, Party control, and a focus on stemming any and all instances of citizen petitioning to higher authorities. She is praised for her nine years of work, handling 500 juvenile cases, without a single petition or complaint by a disgruntled party, without a single reversed case, and without a single case being sent back for retrial.
Judge’s Zhan status as a juvenile court judge is not coincidental. Large-scale changes to China’s juvenile justice system are being considered as part of the proposed amendments to the Chinese criminal procedure currently under consideration (and analyzed in depth here by the Dui Hua Foundation). This campaign is almost certainly intended to highlight and support these efforts.