Courts and Tribunals

The Supreme People's Court

Updated: Dec 11, 2018 english.court.gov.cn Print
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The Organizational Setup of the SPC

The SPC is made up of a president, vice presidents, presiding judges, vice presiding judges and judges. The SPC operates courts of criminal, civil, economic, administrative trials and other courts set up according to actual needs. Besides, the SPC is also made up by a research office, general affairs office, personnel department, judicial affairs department, administrative affairs department, office affairs bureau, foreign affairs bureau and education department.

The Trial Committee

Consisting of the president, vice presidents, presiding judges, vice presiding judges and judges, the Trial Committee is the leading body of the SPC with the following tasks: summing up experiences in the work of trials, and discussing important or difficult cases and other issues related to trials. Meetings of the Trial Committee are presided over by the president of the SPC. The president of the SPC is elected and removed by the National People’s Congress. The vice presidents, presiding judges, vice presiding judges, and other members of the Trial Committee, and judges are appointed and removed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Trial Organs

1. The First Criminal Court whose task is to deal with major cases of criminal offense.

2. The Second Criminal Court whose task is to (investigate or) deal with appeals lodged by litigants, the accused, their relatives or other citizens against the verdicts and decisions that are already being enforced, supervise trials and timely correct mistakes that may have occurred in the trials.

3. The Civil Court whose job is to deal with civil cases of national nature.

4. The Economic Court whose job is to deal with major economic disputes.

5. The Administrative Court whose job is to deal with administrative cases involving organs of the Central Government.

The Multi-hearing Trial System

China’s trial system follows a two-hearing system in the trial process. The entire system of people’s courts constitutes a four-level, two-hearing process. When litigants are not satisfied with the verdict made by any of the local people’s courts at various levels after the court has gone through a first-hearing trial of the case within its jurisdiction, they may appeal to a court of the immediate higher level within the time limit prescribed by law. The court at the next higher level reviews the appeal and passes its judgment which constitutes the verdict of the second hearing. According to the trial system, the verdict of the second hearing is the final decision against which the litigant shall not appeal. The SPC is China’s highest trial organ and all of its decisions on the first- and second-hearing cases are final and shall be enforced once they are promulgated.

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