Legal professionals and academics have demanded reform of the judicial system to make sure the law is upheld. They said that while the National People's Congress had announced many new laws in recent years, implementation had lagged behind. A conference at Beijing University was warned the system 'urgently needs fixing' to catch up with legal reforms. Professor Liu Han, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Legal Institute, said the judicial system was plagued by problems, including graft and administrative interference. Some judges ruled according to 'slips' given to them by local officials, said Professor Liu. More than 70 per cent of commercial cases in these areas were decided according to officials' wishes instead of the law. 'The phenomenon of judges ruling according to slips and not the law must be arrested immediately,' he said. Professor Wu Zhipan of Beijing University, Professor Guan Huai of the People's University, and the Politics and Law University's Professor Liu Zhongya agreed that rule of law could only be realised if the system was allowed independence. President Jiang Zemin has said several times that China should practise the rule of law and that the judiciary must be impartial. Judge Chen Chunlong, of the Beijing Higher People's Court, said it was important to stop judicial officials imposing arbitrary penalties. He admitted that many judges traded sentences for bribes and miscarriages of justice were frequent. The conference was chaired by legal expert Liu Longheng.