Guiding Opinions on the Oversight and Management of "Four Types of Cases"

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Promulgation Date: 2021年11月4日
Document Number:法发〔2021〕30号
Promulgating Entities:Supreme People's Court
Source:https://www.163.com/dy/article/GO4FTD7H0524TEUR.html

The following opinions are put forward in consideration of the actual working conditions of the people's courts, so as to strengthen the establishment of the judicial responsibility system of the people’s courts, to complete oversight and management systems that are compatible with the new mechanisms for the operation of adjudicatory power, and to further improve oversight and management mechanisms for the "four types of cases" that clarify and integrate powers and responsibilities, have strong oversight, effective constraints, and orderly operations.

1. The people’s courts at all levels shall oversee and manage the “four types of cases” in strict accordance with laws and regulations, comply with the laws of justice, “let those who hear the case make the judgments, and having those who make the judgment be responsible”, and, on the basis of the trial organizations' position as the main body for case-handling, refine and improve the list of trial powers and responsibilities, promote the realization of whole-process oversight and the organized exercise of power, to effectively prevent and control all types of risks, and continuously improve the quality and efficiency of trials and judicial credibility.

2. The "four types of cases" as used in these Opinions. refers to cases that meet any of the following circumstances:

(1) They are major, difficult, complex, or sensitive;

(2) They involve mass disputes or cause widespread societal concern, which might affect social stability;

(3) They might conflict with the judgments and rulings of the court or a higher level people’s court in similar cases;

(4) Relevant units or individuals reported that a judge has violated the law in the trial.

3. "Major, difficult, complex, and sensitive" cases mainly include the following cases: those involving national interests and social public interests; those that have larger controversies about the determination of facts or the application of the law; new types of cases that have the effect of a first case; those with guiding significance for the general application of law; sensitive cases involving national security, diplomacy, ethnicity, religion, and so forth.

4. Cases that "involve mass disputes or cause widespread societal concern, which might affect social stability" mainly include the following cases: those having a large number of parties or victims, which may trigger mass incidents; those that may or have already caused widespread social concern, and there is a risk of intensified social conflicts; those with a demonstration effect and may trigger subsequent batches of litigation; those that may have a greater impact on the development of specific industries, the interests of specific groups, and social harmony and stability.

5. Cases that "might conflict with the judgments or rulings of the court or a higher level people’s court in similar cases" mainly include the following cases: those that may conflict with the effective judgments or rulings of the court or higher people's courts from the past three years; those that might conflict with the judgments in similar cases currently being heard by the court, and it is necessary to unify the application of law; where there are major differences in the application of law in the effective judgments or rulings of the court in the past three years, which have not been resolved as of the time of the case.

6. Cases in which "relevant units or individuals reported that judges have violated the law in the trial" mainly include the following cases: Those where the parties, agents ad litem, defenders, or interested parties report using their real names that the judges participating in the trial of the case have violated the law in the trial, and provide specific leads; those where the parties, agents ad litem, and defenders report using their real names that the case has dragged on unresolved for long time and, after preliminary verification, it is indeed a violation of provisions on the management of time limit for the implementation of the trial; those where though means such as trial oversight, judicial inspections, case review, and the receiving of petitions or acceptance of reports and complaints, the relevant departments find that the judge may have violated the law at trial; and those where the undertaking organization reflected on the "Three Provisions" recording and reporting platform that there was interference or prying into the case in violation of the provisions, which might or has already affected judicial fairness.

Where relevant units or individuals report that auxiliary trial personnel have violated disciplines and laws, which may or have affected judicial justice, oversight and management are to be with reference to the above-mentioned circumstances.

7. The people’s courts at all levels may apply the oversight and management measures for the “four types of cases” to the following cases in light of the actual work of the court: already effective judgments, rulings, mediation documents, and so forth from the court that are truly in error and require retrial; where counter appeals are filed by the people’s procuratorate; where a death sentence is intended (including a death sentence subject to a two-year suspension); where it is intended to pronounce the defendant not guilty, to give a punishment below the legally-prescribed penalty or waive criminal punishment; where a retrial or remand for retrial is ordered; where the amount in question in he lawsuit is particularly huge; or where it is otherwise necessary to apply the "four types of cases" oversight and management measures.

8. People's courts at all levels shall, in light of the actual conditions of the court, establish mechanisms covering the entire trial process, to identify and label, promptly report, push notifications, and give early warning alerts for the "four types of cases", and clarify the entity responsibility, reporting obligations, and accountability mechanisms of all types of trial organizations, trial personnel, and functional departments. In the "four types of cases", public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the law, and the reasoning of judgment and ruling documents shall be strengthened, to accept societal oversight.

Where the case filing department identifies the “four types of cases” during the filing stage, it shall simultaneously label it on the case handling platform, alert the relevant court leadership, and determine the organization form and personnel to undertake the trial according to the requirements of these Opinions. Where the undertaking trial organization identifies a case as being one of the "four types of cases" during the trial stage, it shall proactively label it and promptly report to the court leadership. Where the court leadership discovers one of the "four types of cases" in the field they are in charge of, they shall remind the undertaking trial organization to promptly label it and request that it report on the progress of the case. Where functional departments such as for trial management, trial oversight, and news and propaganda discover one of the "four types of cases" in their daily work, they shall promptly notify the relevant court leadership. Where lower-level people’s courts transfer the file materials for one of the “four types of cases” to higher-level people’s court, they shall make corresponding labels on the paper or electronic files for the original trial.

Where there is a dispute as to whether the case is within the "four types of cases", it may be reported to the court leadership for a decision in accordance with the working procedures. Where the case is no longer to be overseen and managed as one of the “four types of cases”, the corresponding labels are to be revoked, and the reasons are to be indicated on the case handling platform.

9. The “four types of cases” identified and marked at the filing stage may be designated for division. In hearing the "four types of cases", a collegial panel shall be formed in accordance with the law, and generally, court leadership is to serve as the presiding judge, and the composition and size of the collegial panel is to be comprehensively determined based on factors such as the circumstances and complexity of the case.

Where a case is identified and labeled as one of the "four types of cases" after entering the trial stage, the court leadership may make the following adjustments according to the circumstances and progress of the case and in accordance with their authority; and the parties shall be promptly notified of the adjustment results and the reasons are to be indicated on the case handling platform:

(1) Transform the case from a single judge trial to a collegial panel trial;

(2) Adjust the adjudicating judges;

(3) Adjust the composition or size of the collegial panel;

(4) Decide to be the presiding judge themselves.

10. In accordance with Article 9 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Judges, the court leadership shall take the following oversight and management measures in accordance with the authority of their positions to address the issues that need to be addressed and resolved in the trial of the "four types of cases":

(1) Adjust division of the case in accordance with authority;

(2) Request the collegial panel report on the progress of the case and the results of the deliberations;

(3) Request the collegial panel provide judgment and ruling documents for similar cases or draft reports on searches for similar cases;

(4) Review the case hearing outline and trial report;

(5) Read files and observe court hearings;

(6) Request the collegial panel reconsider and report on the result of the reconsideration, but generally no more than twice in the same case;

(7) Decide to submit the case for discussion by a professional judges conference;

(8) Decide to submit the case to the adjudication committee for discussion in accordance with the working procedures;

(9) Decide to report to the people's court at the level above for trial in accordance with the procedures;

(10) Other necessary oversight and management measures appropriate to their position.

The court president and division chiefs are to employ the above-mentioned oversight and management measures in accordance with the working procedures in their field of responsibility and within the scope of their authority or perform the oversight and guidance duties in accordance with the law for the lower people's courts trial of the "four types of cases", which does not constitute interference or prying into cases in violation of provisions.

11. When performing oversight and management duties for the "four types of cases", the court leadership shall leave marks on the case handling platform throughout the process, or make a written record and put it in the file for future reference. The opinions of the court leadership on the handling of the "four types of cases" shall be announced at the professional judges' conference or the adjudication committee meeting, recorded in the minutes of the meeting, and put on the case handling platform or in the case file after being signed and confirmed. Where the court leadership have objections to the result of the judgment or ruling proposed by the collegiate panel, they have the right to request a reconsideration, and may also submit the case to a professional judges meeting or the adjudication committee for discussion in accordance with the working procedures. The court leadership must not directly change the opinions of the collegial panel without going through legal procedures.

12. Where the undertaking trial organization discovers that the case belongs to the "four types of cases" and deliberately conceals this without reporting it or does not obey oversight and management, the court leadership may adjust the division of the case according to its authority. Where the trial organization causes an error in the judgment or ruling through the preceding conduct and causes serious consequences, it is to bear the responsibility for the illegal trial in accordance with the law.

Where either intentionally or as the result of gross negligence, the court leadership neglect to perform or improperly perform the oversight and management responsibilities for a case in the “four types of cases” that they discovered in accordance with their authority, that was proactively reported by the undertaking trial organization, for which notice was given by relevant functional departments, or for which a notice was automatically pushed by the system, causing errors in the judgments or rulings and serious consequences, they are to bear oversight and management responsibility with reference the provisions and procedures for the management of cadres.

13. All higher people's courts should make full use of the achievements in smart court construction, improve a unified identification and monitoring system for the "four types of cases within their jurisdictions, and explore the establishment of a system of identification guidelines comprised of factors such as the cause of action, the charges, the entities involved in the case, the field of the case, the type of procedure, and the degree of social concern, to gradually bring about automatic identification, precise labeling, real-time warnings, and intelligent oversight and management for the "four types of cases". In phases such as case filing, mediation, hearings, deliberation, judgment, and enforcement, the system may simultaneously mark and push, remind the trial organization to promptly report, and remind the court leadership to oversee and manage in accordance with their authority. For cases that the undertaking trial organization is required to report but failed to report, or that are required to be submitted to the professional judge meeting or the adjudication committee for discussion but were not, the system may give an automatic early warning and alert the court leadership.

14. The court president and division chiefs as used in these Opinions includes the court president, vice presidents, full-time members of the adjudication committee, division chiefs, deputy division chiefs, and other persons in charge of the trial (enforcement) departments who are responsible for oversight and management in accordance with the law.

In consideration of the list of trial powers and responsibilities, the people's courts at all levels shall clarify the specific duties, corresponding powers, and working procedures for the court presidents and division chiefs' efforts on the oversight and management in the "four types of cases". The court president and division chiefs' performance of oversight and management duties in the "four types of cases" shall be included in the workload and included in performance evaluation and appraisals.

15. These Opinions are to be interpreted by the Supreme People's Court. People’s courts at all levels may formulate or revise the implementation rules for the oversight and management of the “four types of cases” based on this opinion and in consideration of the actual conditions of the court, and report them to the people’s court at the next higher level for the record.

16. These opinions are to take effect on November 5, 2021. Where previous relevant regulations are inconsistent with this opinion, implementation is to be in accordance with this opinion.

 

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