NPC Chairman Li Peng yesterday made his strongest statement on the rule of law since taking over as head of the legislature six months ago. Hitting out at the widespread problem of lawlessness among judicial officials, Mr Li called for open trials, the establishment of a jury system and an end to the prolonged detention of suspects. Speaking at a National People's Congress legal committee meeting on judicial fairness, he made his first comment on the fact that more and more NPC delegates had voted against the two annual judicial reports at the national conference, which he said was worrying. 'The violation of rules in the profession and neglect of work ethics by some officials in judicial departments is so serious that it has undermined judicial work and posed a threat to social stability,' Mr Li said. 'We cannot afford to waste any time addressing the problem.' In March, 45 per cent of delegates at the NPC annual conference voted against the Procurator-General's report and almost 35 per cent disapproved of Han Zhubin as the new head of the procuratorate. Yesterday, Mr Li put forward four suggestions: All trials, except those involving state secrets, personal privacy and juvenile cases, should be open to the public; Local judiciaries should establish jury systems in their courts of first instance; Law enforcers should not confuse their roles. Police and prosecutors should not hold suspects beyond the legal limit; All levels of government should increase their budgets for judicial officials, and local people's congress members should be more active in supervising law enforcers.