Organic Law of the People's Courts of the People's Republic of China (2018 Revision)

 2018-12-07  291


· Document Number:Order No. 11 of the President of the People's Republic of China

· Area of Law: State Organs

· Level of Authority: Laws

· Date issued:10-26-2018

· Effective Date:01-01-2019

· Issuing Authority: Standing Committee of the National People's Congress

· Status: Not Yet Effective

 

Order of the President of the People's Republic of China
(No. 11)
The Organic Law of the People's Courts of the People's Republic of China, as revised and adopted at the 6th session of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on October 26, 2018, is hereby issued, and shall come into force on January 1, 2019.
President of the People's Republic of China: Xi Jinping
October 26, 2018
Organic Law of the People's Courts of the People's Republic of China
(Adopted at the 2nd session of the Fifth National People's Congress on July 1, 1979, amended for the first time according to the Decision of the 2nd Session of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress on Amending the Organic Law of the People's Courts of the People's Republic of China on September 2, 1983; amended for the second time according to the Decision of the 18th Session of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress on Amending the Organic Law of the Local People's Congresses at All Levels and Local People's Governments at All Levels of the People's Republic of China on December 2, 1986; amended for the third time according to the Decision of the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People's Congress on Amending the Organic Law of the People's Courts of the People's Republic of China on October 31, 2006; and revised at the 6th session of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress on October 26, 2018)
Contents
Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II Setup and Functions and Powers of the People's Courts
Chapter III Trial Organization of the People's Courts
Chapter IV Personnel Composition of the People's Courts
Chapter V Guarantee for Exercise of Functions and Powers by the People's Courts
Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 For purposes of regulating the setup, organization and functions and powers of the people's courts, and guaranteeing the people's courts' lawful performance of duties, this Law is developed according to the Constitution.
Article 2 The people's courts are the judicial organs of the state.
The people's courts shall, by trial of criminal cases, civil cases, administrative cases and other cases prescribed by law, punish criminals, protect innocent people from criminal investigation, resolve civil and administrative disputes, protect the lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations, supervise administrative authorities' exercise of functions and powers according to the law, protect the state security and social order, safeguard social fairness and justice, protect the unity of the legal system, dignity and authority of the state, and ensure the smooth progress of the socialist construction with Chinese characteristics.
Article 3 The people's courts shall be set up in accordance with the Constitution, the laws and the decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
Article 4 The people's courts shall independently exercise the judicial power according to the law, and shall not be subject to interference by any administrative organ, social organization or individual.
Article 5 The trial of cases by the people's courts shall be equal in the application of law, no organization or individual shall have any privilege to transgress the law, and discrimination in any form shall be prohibited.
Article 6 The people's courts shall uphold judicial justice, take facts as the basis and laws as the criterion, comply with the legal procedures, protect the litigation rights and other lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations, and respect and protect human rights.
Article 7 The people's courts shall implement judicial transparency, except as otherwise prescribed by law.
Article 8 The people's courts shall implement the judicial responsibility system, and establish and improve the judicial power operation mechanism with a unity of powers and responsibilities.
Article 9 The Supreme People's Court (“SPC”) shall be responsible to and report its work to the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. The local people's courts at all levels shall be responsible to and report their work to the people's congresses at the corresponding levels and their standing committees.
The people's congresses at all levels and their standing committees shall supervise the work of the people's courts at the corresponding levels.
Article 10 The SPC is the judicial organ at the highest level.
The SPC shall supervise the trials of the local people's courts at all levels and the special people's courts, and the people's courts at higher levels shall supervise the trials of the people's courts at lower levels.
Article 11 The people's courts shall accept the supervision of the public and guarantee that the public has the right to know, participate in and supervise the work of the people's courts according to the law.
Chapter II Setup and Functions and Powers of the People's Courts
Article 12 The people's courts are divided into:
(1) the SPC;
(2) the local people's courts at all levels; and
(3) the special people's courts.
Article 13 The local people's courts at various levels are divided into higher people's courts, intermediate people's courts and basic people's courts.
Article 14 The organization, scope of jurisdiction of cases and appointment and dismissal of judges of the people's courts established at the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps shall be governed by the relevant provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
Article 15 Special people's courts include military courts, maritime courts, intellectual property courts, and financial courts, among others.
The setup, organization, functions and powers, and appointment and dismissal of judges of special people's courts shall be prescribed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
Article 16 The SPC shall have jurisdiction over the following cases:
(1) cases of first instance under its jurisdiction as prescribed by the law and deemed by itself to be under its jurisdiction;
(2) appellate cases judged and ruled by the higher people's courts;
(3) appellate cases filed in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress;
(4) retrial cases filed in accordance with the trial supervision procedures; and
(5) death penalty cases for which requests are submitted by the higher people's courts for approval.
Article 17 For death penalties, except those judged by the SPC, requests shall be submitted to the SPC for approval.
Article 18 The SPC may explain the issues on the specific application of law in the trial work.
The SPC may issue guiding cases.
Article 19 The SPC may set up circuit courts to try cases determined by the SPC according to the law.
A circuit court is an integral part of the SPC. The judgment and ruling of a circuit court shall be the judgment and ruling of the SPC.
Article 20 The higher people's courts include:
(1) higher people's courts of provinces;
(2) higher people's courts of autonomous regions; and
(3) higher people's courts of municipalities directly under the Central Government.
Article 21 The higher people's courts shall have jurisdiction over the following cases:
(1) cases of first instance under their jurisdiction as prescribed by law;
(2) cases of first instance for which requests are submitted by people's courts at lower levels for trial;
(3) cases of first instance of which the jurisdiction is designated by the SPC;
(4) appellate cases judged and ruled by the intermediate people's courts;
(5) retrial cases filed in accordance with the trial supervision procedures; and
(6) death penalty cases for which requests are submitted by the intermediate people's courts for approval.
Article 22 The intermediate people's courts include:
(1) intermediate people's courts of municipalities directly under the jurisdiction of provinces or autonomous regions;
(2) intermediate people's courts established within municipalities directly under the Central Government;
(3) intermediate people's courts of autonomous prefectures; and
(4) intermediate people's courts established according to prefectures in provinces or autonomous regions.
Article 23 The intermediate people's courts shall have jurisdiction over the following cases:
(1) cases of first instance under their jurisdiction as prescribed by law;
(2) cases of first instance for which requests are submitted by basic people's courts for trial;
(3) cases of first instance of which the jurisdiction is designated by the people's courts at higher levels;
(4) appellate cases judged and ruled by the basic people's courts; and
(5) retrial cases filed in accordance with the trial supervision procedures.
Article 24 Basic people's courts include:
(1) people's courts of counties and autonomous counties;
(2) people's courts in cities not divided into districts; and
(3) people's courts of municipal districts.
Article 25 Basic people's courts shall try cases of first instance, except as otherwise prescribed by law.
Basic people's courts shall offer business guidance for the mediation of the people's mediation committees.
Article 26 A basic people's court may set up a number of people's tribunals according to the local conditions, population and cases.
A people's tribunal is an integral part of the basic people's court. The judgments and rulings of a people's tribunal shall be the judgments and rulings of a basic people's court.
Article 27 A people's court may set up necessary professional tribunals according to the needs of the trial work. Intermediate people's courts and basic people's courts with a small number of judges can set up comprehensive tribunals, or are not required to set up tribunals.
A people's court may set up a comprehensive business institution according to the needs of the trial work. Intermediate people's courts and basic people's courts with a small number of judges are not required to set up comprehensive business institutions.
Article 28 The people's courts may, according to the needs of the work, set up necessary trial supporting institutions and administrative institutions.
Chapter III Trial Organizations of the People's Courts
Article 29 When a people's court is to try a case, the case shall be tried by a collegial bench or sole judge.
The scope of cases to be tried by a collegial bench or sole judge shall be prescribed by law.
Article 30 A collegial bench shall be composed of judges or judges and people's assessors. The members of a collegial bench shall be in an odd number and more than three.
A judge shall serve as the presiding judge of a collegial bench. When participating in the trial of a case, a president of the court or divisional chief shall serve as the presiding judge.
A presiding judge shall preside over the trial, organize the deliberation of a case, and have the equal rights with other members of the collegial bench in the deliberation of a case.
Article 31 In the deliberation of a case, a collegial bench shall make a decision according to the opinions of the majority, and record the opinions of the minority in the transcript. All members of a collegial bench shall affix signatures to the transcript of deliberation of a case.
Article 32 The judgment documents formed for a case tried by a collegial bench or sole judge shall, as signed by the members of the collegial bench or sole judge, be issued by the people's court.
Article 33 For a case tried by a collegial bench, the judges shall be responsible for the finding of facts and application of law in the case; and for a case tried by a sole judge, the sole judge shall be responsible for the finding of facts and application of law in the case.
The people's courts shall strengthen internal supervision, and where there are illegal circumstances in the trial, conduct investigation and verification in a timely manner, and handle them in light of the circumstances according to the law.
Article 34 People's assessors shall, according to the law, participate in the collegial bench to try cases.
Article 35 The people's courts at or above the intermediate level shall set up compensation committees to try state compensation cases according to the law.
A compensation committee shall be composed of more than three judges in an odd number, and make decisions in accordance with the opinions of the majority.
Article 36 The people's courts at all levels shall set up judicial committees. A judicial committee shall be composed of members in an odd number, including a president, a vice president, and several senior judges.
Meetings of a judicial committee are divided into plenary meetings and meetings of professional committees.
The people's courts at or above the intermediate level may, according to the needs of the trial work and on the basis of the professions and division of work of members of the judicial committees, hold criminal trials, civil administrative trials and other meetings of professional committees.
Article 37 A judicial committee shall perform the following duties:
(1) Summing up the trial work experience.
(2) Deliberating and deciding on the application of laws in major, difficult and complicated cases.
(3) Deliberating and deciding whether the judgments, rulings and mediation documents of the court that have come into force should be re-tried.
(4) Deliberating and deciding on other major issues relevant to trial.
The interpretations of the SPC on the issues concerning the specific application of law in the trial work shall be deliberated and adopted by the plenary meeting of the judicial committee; and the guiding cases issued can be deliberated and adopted by the meetings of the professional committee of the judicial committee.
Article 38 The plenary meetings and meetings of professional committees held by a judicial committee shall be attended by more than half of their members.
A meeting of a judicial committee shall be presided over by a president of the court or a vice president entrusted by the president. The judicial committee shall implement the democratic centralism.
When a judicial committee holds a meeting, a president of a people's procuratorate at the same level or a deputy president entrusted by the president of a people's procuratorate may attend the meeting as a nonvoting delegate.
Article 39 For a case deemed necessary by the collegial panel to be submitted to the judicial committee for deliberation and decision-making, an application shall be filed by the presiding judge and approved by the president.
In the deliberation of a case by the judicial committee, the collegial bench shall be responsible for the facts reported by it, and the members of the judicial committee shall be responsible for the opinions issued by them and their voting. The decisions of the judicial committee shall be implemented by the collegial bench.
The decision of a judicial committee in the deliberation of a case and the reasons shall be disclosed in the written judgment, except as otherwise prescribed by law.
Chapter IV Personnel Composition of the People's Courts
Article 40 The judging personnel of a people's court shall include the president, vice president, members of the judicial committee and judges, among others.
Article 41 The president of a people's court shall be responsible for the comprehensive work of the court, supervising the trial work of the court, and administering the administrative affairs of the court. The vice presidents of a people's court shall assist the president in the work thereof.
Article 42 The president of the SPC shall be elected by the National People's Congress, and the president shall submit requests to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for appointment and dismissal of vice presidents, members of the judicial committees, divisional chiefs, associate divisional chiefs, and judges.
The president of the SPC shall submit requests to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for appointment and dismissal of the divisional chiefs and associate divisional chiefs of the circuit courts of the SPC.
Article 43 The presidents of the local people's courts at all levels shall be elected by the people's congresses at the same levels, and the presidents shall submit requests to the standing committees of the people's congresses at the corresponding levels for appointment and dismissal of vice presidents, members of the judicial committees, divisional chiefs, associate divisional chiefs, and judges.
The appointment or dismissal of the presidents of the intermediate people's courts set up according to prefectures of the provinces or autonomous regions or within the municipalities directly under the Central Government shall be decided by the standing committees of the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government on the basis of the nominations made by the respective councils of chairmen. The vice presidents, members of the judicial committees, divisional chiefs, associate divisional chiefs, and judges shall be appointed or dismissed by the standing committees of the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government upon requests of the presidents of the higher people's courts.
Article 44 The term of office of a president of a people's court shall be the same as that of the people's congress at which the president is elected.
The people's congresses at all levels shall have the power to dismiss the presidents of people's courts elected by them. When the local people's congress is not in session and the standing committee of the people's congress at the same level deems that the president of the people's court needs to be replaced, a request shall be submitted to the standing committee of the people's congress at a higher level for approval.
Article 45 The judges, trial supportting personnel and administrative judicial personnel of the people's courts shall be subject to classified administration.
Article 46 Judges shall be subject to the personnel quota system. The judge quota shall be determined according to the number of cases, economic and social development situation, population size, level of trials of the people's courts and other factors.
The judge quota of the SPC shall be determined by the SPC upon consultations with the relevant departments. The judge quotas of the local people's courts at all levels shall be subject to total quantity control and dynamic management within the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government.
Article 47 Judges shall be selected from persons having obtained legal professional qualifications and meeting other conditions prescribed by law. A person to be appointed as a judge for the first time shall be subject to professional competence review by the judge selection committee. A judge of a people's court at a higher level shall, in general, be selected from judges of the people's courts at lower levels on a merit-and-competency-based basis.
A president shall have legal professional knowledge and legal professional experience. Vice presidents and members of the judicial committees shall be elected from judges, prosecutors or other personnel qualified for serving as judges and prosecutors.
The duties, management and guarantee of judges shall be governed by the provisions of the Judges Law of the People's Republic of China.
Article 48 Judge assistants of the people's courts shall, under the guidance of judges, be responsible for examining the case materials, drafting the legal documents, and other auxiliary trial affairs.
A judge assistant meeting the job qualifications for a judge may, upon selection, be appointed as judge in accordance with the procedures for the appointment and dismissal of judges.
Article 49 Clerks of the people's courts shall be responsible for keeping court records and other auxiliary trial affairs.
Article 50 Judicial police officers of the people's courts shall be responsible for guard in courts, personnel escort and custody, and other police matters.
Judicial police officers shall be administered in accordance with the People's Police Law of the People's Republic of China.
Article 51 A people's court may, according to the needs of the trial work, appoint judicial technicians to be responsible for the matters related to the trial work.
Chapter V Guarantee for Exercise of Functions and Powers by the People's Courts
Article 52 No entity or individual shall require any judge to engage in any matter beyond the scope of statutory functions.
Where leading cadres and other personnel intervene in judicial activities and the handling of specific cases, or insiders of the people's courts interfere in cases, the case-handling personnel shall keep records and report them in a comprehensive and faithful manner; and in the event of violation of laws and regulations, the relevant organs shall hold the actors accountable in light of the seriousness of the cases.
Article 53 The judgments, rulings and other effective legal documents rendered by the people's courts shall be performed by the obligors in accordance with the law; and obligors refusing to perform such documents shall be subject to legal liability according to the law.
Article 54 The people's courts shall take necessary measures to maintain the order of the courtrooms and the authority of trial. Those who commit illegal and criminal acts obstructing the people's courts from exercising their functions and powers according to the law shall be subject to legal liability according to the law.
Article 55 The people's courts shall implement the training system, and judges, trial supportting personnel and administrative judicial personnel shall accept theoretical and business training.
Article 56 The staffing of people's courts shall be subject to special-purpose management.
Article 57 The funds of the people's courts shall be included in the financial budget under the principle of authorization clarification to guarantee the need of the trial work.
Article 58 The people's courts shall strengthen the information construction, utilize the modern information technologies, advance the judicial publicity, and improve the work efficiency.
Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions
Article 59 This Law shall come into force on January 1, 2019.