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Provisions on Simultaneous Recording in Hearing Opinions in Plea Leniency Cases

Promulgation Date: 2021-12-2
Title: 人民检察院办理认罪认罚案件听取意见同步录音录像规定
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Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: Supreme People's Procuratorate
Source of text:

Article 1These Provisions are formulated on the basis of laws and relevant provisions and in consideration of actual case handling conditions, so as to standardize the people's procuratorates' activities of hearing opinions in handling plea leniency cases, to safeguard the procedural rights of criminal suspects and defendants in accordance with law, and to ensure the voluntariness, veracity, and lawfulness of pleas.

Article 2: People's procuratorates handling plea leniency cases shall make simultaneous recordings when hearing the opinions of criminal suspects, defendants, defenders, or duty lawyers on matters surrounding sentencing recomendations or the applied procedures, and of the signing of the plea affidavit.

The simultaneous recording of hearing opinions does not include the interrogation process, but where interrogation, hearing opinions, and signing of a plea affidavit are conducted at the same time, they may be recorded together.

Where opinions are heard multiple times, a simultaneous recording should be made at least of the processes of forming and confirming the sentencing recommendation, as well as of the signing of the final plea affidavit. In cases where a plea affidavit does not need to be signed in accordance with law, a simultaneous recording shall be made of stages that can reflect the formation of the sentencing recommendation.

Article 3: Simultaneous recording of the hearing of opinions in plea leniency cases applies to all plea leniency cases.

Article 4: Simultaneous recording shall usually include the following content:

(1) Notification of criminal suspects, defendants, defenders, or duty lawyers that a simultaneous recording is being made of the process of hearing opinions;

(2) Notification of criminal suspects and defendants of their procedural rights and obligations, and of provisions legal provisions related to pleas, as well as explanations of the legal character and consequences of pleas;

(3) Notification of the criminal suspect or defendant of the legal consequences for recanting without legitimate reason;

(4) Notification of the facts of the crime, charges, and handling opinions that have been found, the sentencing recommendation, recommendations for procedures to be applied, and explanations;

(5) The procurators hearing of the opinions of the criminal suspects, defendants, defenders, or duty lawyers, and the criminal suspects or defendants hearings of defenders or duty lawyers' opinions;

(6) As needed, the display of evidence;

(7) The criminal suspect or defendant's signing of the plea affidavit and the defender or duty lawyer's witnessing it;

(7) Other circumstances that need to be recorded.

Article 5: The procurator shall preside over the hearing of opinions in plea cases, and procuratorate auxiliary personnel, technical personnel, judicial police, and clerks are to cooperate. Criminal suspects, defendants, and defenders or duty lawyers are to participate.

Procuratorate technical personnel or auxiliary personnel are responsible for making the simultaneous recording.

Article 6: The simultaneous recording shall normally be conducted in the place of detention or procuratorate case handling area, and those with capacity may explore setting up an independent room for hearing opinions in the locations above.

Where opinions are heard through remote video conferences or other such methods, the video conference shall be stored as the simultaneous recording materials.

Article 7: Before opinions are heard, the people's procuratorate shall notify the defender or duty lawyer of the time and place for hearing opinions, and hear the opinions of the defender or duty lawyer.

While hearing opinions, the people's procuratorate shall provide necessary facilitation for the defender or duty lawyers to meet with the suspect and read case materials.

Article 8: The simultaneous recording shall objectively and fully reflect the participants in and process of hearing opinions, with a complete and upright picture and clear and identifiable sound and images. The simultaneous recording shall be maintained intact and continuous, and there must not be selective recording, modification, or deletions.

Article 9: The start and conclusion of the simultaneous recording are to be announced by the procurator. The criminal suspect, defendant, defender, or duty lawyer shall be notified before the recording begins.

Article 10: Where new circumstances are discovered in the course of hearing opinions that might impact the verdict or sentencing, and it is necessary to have supplemental verification, the hearing of opinions and the simultaneous recording shall be suspended. After the verification is complete, either newly hear opinions or continue hearing opinions in light of the circumstances, and make a simultaneous recording.

Where recording is impossible due to technical difficulties, the hearing of opinions shall normally be suspended, and the hearing of opinions and recording are to resume when the problem is eliminated. Where it is difficult to quickly eliminate the technical program at that moment, opinions may continue to be heard upon the obtaining the consent of the criminal suspect, defendant, and defender or duty lawyer, but this shall be noted in the case file.

Article 11: After the simultaneous recording is complete, the person doing the recording shall promptly make a file of the simultaneous recording and give it to the personnel handling the case for their use in case handling, and the persons handling the case are to archive it after the completion of the case. The naming of the simultaneous recording file shall conform to the case in the procuratorial operations system. All levels of people's procuratorate shall gradually establish systems for handling simultaneous recording files for the uniform storage and management of simultaneous recording files. The period for storing simultaneous recording files is to be 10 years.

Article 12: The simultaneous recording files are work materials for the people's procuratorates' handling of plea cases, and are to implement conditional collection and use. Where it is necessary to review the simultaneous recording file for reasons such as the people's courts, criminal suspect, defendant, defender, or duty lawyer raising objections or doubts as to the voluntariness, veracity, and legality of the plea, the people's procuratorate may present it, and may also transfer the recording file to the people's court, and when necessary request the court play it.

Where it is necessary to access, collect, reproduce, or present the simultaneous recording file for work such as case quality inspections, re-examinations, or procuratorate oversight, approval formalities shall be performed and this shall be recorded in the case file.

Article 13: In hearing opinions, prosecutors should wear prosecutor uniforms, be tidy in appearance, be serious and dignified, and use civilized and standardized language.

Article 14: The People’s Procuratorate’s departments for criminal prosecution, procuratorial technology, planning, finance and equipment, case management, judicial police, and archives shall perform their respective duties and take respective responsibility, coordinate and cooperate to ensure the standardized, efficient and orderly development of simultaneous recording work.

Article 15: Where People's Procuratorates handling juvenile plea cases conduct simultaneous recording of hearing opinions, these measures are to be applied by reference, based on relevant laws and regulations, and in consideration of the actual work conditions in juvenile procuratorial work.

Article 16: These Provisions shall be implemented from March 1, 2022.


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