Profoundly Implementing the Law of the People's Republic of China on People's Assessors
Notice of the Supreme People's Court on Profoundly Implementing the Law of the People's Republic of China on People's Assessors
· Document Number：No. 110  of the Supreme People's Court
· Area of Law： State Organs
· Level of Authority： Working Documents of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate
· Date issued：04-28-2018
· Effective Date：04-28-2018
· Status： Effective
· Issuing Authority： Supreme People's Court
Notice of the Supreme People's Court on Profoundly Implementing the Law of the People's Republic of China on People's Assessors
(No. 110  of the Supreme People's Court)
The higher people's courts of all Provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government; and the Production and Construction Corps Branch of the Higher People's Court of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous:
The Law of the People's Republic of China on People's Assessors (hereinafter referred to as the "Law on People's Assessors") was deliberated and adopted at the Second Session of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress on April 27, 2018 and issued with immediate effect on the same day. The issuance of the Law on People's Assessors is a major event in the building of the rule of law for socialism with Chinese characteristics and the rule of law and a new milestone in protecting the democratic rights of citizens and advancing the construction of judicial democracy. In order to thoroughly implement the Law on People's Assessors and better achieve the functions and effects of the people's assessors regime in the trial work of people's courts, you are hereby notified of the following matters:
I. Fully recognizing the great significance of implementing the Law on People's Assessors
The Law on People's Assessors comprehensively drew upon the practical experience in the 13-year implementation of the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Improving the People's Assessors Regime, inscribed the experience in the pilot programs of the reform since the Third and Fourth Plenary Sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee in a law, further improved the selection, participation, and management, and other aspects of people's assessors, and ushered China's people's assessors regime into a new stage of development. The correct implementation of the Law on People's Assessor is conducive to the improvement of the judicial regime of socialism with Chinese characteristics and of great significance for advancing judicial democracy, furthering judicial equity, defending judicial integrity, enhancing judicial credibility, and allowing the people to feel fairness and justice in every judicial case.
The people's courts at all levels shall fully understand the significance of enacting the Law on People's Assessors, attach great importance to the implementation of the Law on People's Assessors, and set an agenda for the important work of effectively studying, publicizing, and implementing the Law on People's Assessors. The people's courts at all levels shall closely rely on the firm leadership of the local party committees, the powerful supervision of the people's congresses and their standing committees, the vigorous cooperation of the relevant government agencies, and the care and support of all sectors of society and take the issuance of the Law on People's Assessors as an opportunity to improve working mechanisms, intensify efforts, and expand social influence, so as to strive to blaze a trail for the work in relation to people's assessors.
All the higher people's courts shall earnestly undertake the main responsibilities for implementing the Law on People's Assessors, based on local actual circumstances, study and develop a package of work proposals and implementation measures for implementing the Law on People's Assessors as soon as possible, strengthen organization and coordination, procure work arrangements, specify work responsibilities, enhance guidance and supervision, and ensure implementation at all levels.
II. Strengthening the study and publicity of the Law on People's Assessors
The people's courts at all levels shall carry out learning campaigns in various forms by plan and by group, first procure court leaders and judges to learn, take the lead in learning, grasp a deeper understanding, fully and accurately study and understand the legislative spirit and main content of the Law on People's Assessors, endeavor to improve judges' understanding and application of the Law on People's Assessors, enhance the capability of judges to guide people's assessors in effectively participating in trials, and ensure that all the provisions of the Law on People's Assessors are well known to people and effectively implemented.
The people's courts at all levels shall take measures, relying on television, newspapers, radio, networks, mobile phones, press conferences, forums, lectures, and other media, through new media platforms such as official websites, Weibo, and WeChat, by visiting communities, enterprises, and the public and other various means, to give wide publicity to the significance of the enactment and main content of the Law on People's Assessors, typical cases whose trials are participated in by people's assessor, and the actual effect in an all-round, three-dimensional manner, leverage the guiding role of public opinion, further enhance the public knowledge, understanding, and support of the people's assessors regime, and actively create a good atmosphere for the implementation of the Law on People's Assessors in whole society.
III. Actively cooperating with justice authorities in selecting people's assessor
Upon the implementation of the Law on People's Assessors, the selection of people's assessor shall be led by justice authorities in collaboration with primary-level people's courts and public security authorities. All the higher people's courts shall actively coordinate their efforts and collaborate with the justice authorities at the same level, research the issuance of the local work proposals for the selection of people's assessor as soon as possible, conduct meticulous organization, control progress, and exercise strict control. All the higher people's courts shall take effective measures to guide the primary-level people's courts in their jurisdictions in cooperating with justice authorities and complete the selection of first people's assessor as scheduled.
All the primary-level people's courts shall dynamically cooperate with justice authorities in the effective random selection and qualification review of people's assessors and other work and be responsible for requests for appointment, oath of office, and other work relating to people's assessors. The selection of people's assessors in all regions shall be summed up and reported by the higher people's courts to the Political Department of the Supreme People's Court.
In order to ensure normal trial proceedings, people's assessors appointed before the implementation of the Law on People's Assessors shall remain in office and be automatically dismissed upon expiry of their term of office. For a people's assessor not meeting the selection conditions as provided in the Law on People's Assessors, the standing committee of the people's congress at the same level shall be requested to dismiss him/her from the office of people's assessor.
Upon the implementation of the People's Assessor Law, each primary-level people's court shall firstly calculate the number of people's assessors who will remain in office, on that basis, fully taking into account the conditions of its trial work, by meeting superior people's courts randomly selecting people's assessors from it and other actual needs, according to the provision that the number of people's jurors shall not be less than three times the number of its judges, request the standing committee of the people's congress at the same level to determine the quota of people's assessors in a timely manner, notify the justice authority at the same level, and escalate a report to the higher people's court. In the future, the people's assessors selected through personal application and organizational recommendation to meet the need of trials may not account for more than one fifth of the quota of people's jurors.
IV. Strictly implementing all the requirements for the participation of people's assessors in trials
The Law on People's Assessors shall apply only to criminal, civil, and administrative cases accepted by courts of first instance upon the implementation of the law, and for criminal, civil, and administrative cases accepted by courts of first instance before the implementation of the law, the trials participated in by people's assessors shall remain effective.
All the higher people's courts shall direct the courts under their jurisdiction to reasonably determine the scope of cases whose trial is participated in by people's assessors, correctly understand the boundaries of in iure and apud iudicem, prevent the only pursuit of people's assessors' appearing rates, eliminate "people's assessors in residence," "judges outside of staffing," and other circumstances, and endeavor to achieve a shift from focusing on the quantity to the of people's assessors appearing cases quality. The people's courts at all levels shall, according to the local actual circumstances, reasonably determine the upper limit of the annual number of the cases whose trial is participated in by people's assessors, make timely announcements to the public in appropriate forms, and escalate reports to the higher people's courts.
The people's courts at all levels shall make most of information technology-based means to continue improving the working regimes and technical guarantee mechanisms for randomly selecting people's assessors to participate in case trials, so as to ensure that all the people's assessors participating in the trial of individual cases are determined through random selection, prevent few people's assessors and judges from forming a fixed collegial panel to try cases, and allow more people's assessors to have the opportunity to participate in case trials.
The people's courts at all levels shall emphasize the obligations of judges to guide and remind people's assessors participating in case trials, heighten their awareness of guidance, improve their ability to guide, standardize guiding modes, and enhance responsibilities for explanation, and with respect to fact finding, rules of evidence, legal provisions, and other matters involved in cases and the focal issues of the cases that the people's assessors shall pay attention to, judges shall promptly provide guidance, reminders and explanations, so as to make the most of the substantive role of people's assessors in trial work.
V. Strengthening the training and management of and guarantees for people's assessors
The people's courts at all levels shall improve and strengthen the training of people's assessors. The people's courts at all levels shall, according to the changes of the power of participating in case trials and new requirements for duty performance of people's assessors, systematically train all people's assessors, enhance the training in respect of the rights and obligations of people's assessors, legal procedures, trial skills, and other content, and leverage case teaching, on-site observations, thematic reports, and other forms to practically improve capability of people's assessors to perform their duties.
The work on people's assessors shall be included in the big pattern of the building of information technology-based people's courts, information technology building shall be intensified, the interconnection between the People's Assessors Information Management System of the Supreme People's Court with the people's assessors management systems of the local courts at all levels and between the information of the people's assessors management systems and local trial management systems shall be achieved, and the building of the functions of people's assessors information management and analysis, people's assessors' duty performance management, people's assessors evaluation management, people's assessors supervision and management, and people's assessors service platforms shall be actively advanced; and mobile application programs, remote case file consultation, electronic signature, and other information science and technology means shall be actively applied to realize information technology-based selection, participation in case trials, and management and further raise the level of information technology-based management of people's assessors, so as to facilitate people's assessors in participating in case trials.
The people's courts at all levels shall actively coordinate the efforts of financial authorities so as to include the subsidies that people's assessors deserve to enjoy for participating in trial activities and the expenses necessary for people's courts to implement the selection, management, and training, among others, of people's assessors in the business funds of people's courts for full guarantees.
VI. Conscientiously and effectively summing up experience and providing feedback on the Opinions
Over the course of learning, publicizing, and implementing the Law on People's Assessors, the people's courts at all levels shall continue summing up experience and seriously study and propose specific opinions on new problems encountered, which higher people's courts shall sum up and report to the Supreme People's Court in a timely manner. The Supreme People's Court shall, in due course, conduct earmarked supervisory inspection of the implementation of the Law on People's Assessors by all higher people's courts, guide the work on people's assessors in all regions in a timely manner, and ensure the correct implementation of the Law on People's Assessors.
Supreme People's Court
April 28, 2018