Senior leader Zhou Yongkang made the call at a symposium on the revised Criminal Procedure Law held Friday in Beijing, Xinhua reported.
The revised law, adopted in March, includes the section on "respecting and protecting human rights" in its first chapter on basic principles.
Zhou, secretary of the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also said equal importance should place on punishing crime as protecting human rights.
All convictions, he said, should be supported by evidence and go through legal procedures. Zhou also stressed efficiency in criminal cases and avoiding judicial corruption.
The Criminal Procedure Law was enacted in 1979 and first amended in 1996.