Opinions on Providing Judicial Services and Safeguards for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Actively Responding to the Aging of the Population



Promulgation Date: 2022-3-29
Title: 最高人民法院关于为实施积极应对人口老龄化国家战略提供司法服务和保障的意见
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Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities:Supreme People's Court
Source of text: https://www.court.gov.cn/fabu-xiangqing-354111.html

In consideration of actual working conditions, the following Opinions on the people's courts' serving and ensuring the implementation of the national strategy for actively responding to the aging of the population are hereby put forward, in order to implement the Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Strengthening the Efforts on Aging in the New Era, to give full play to the role of trial functions, to truly increase and expand the elderly's sense of gain, happiness, and security.

I. Unify conception and understanding to correctly grasp the overall requirements for providing judicial services and safeguards for the national strategy for actively responding to the aging of the population.

1.Guiding ideology. All levels of people's courts should truly increase their political posture, adhering to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era for guidance, thoroughly implementing Xi Jinping thought on rule of law, studying and mastering the decisive significance of the "two affirmations", and enhancing the "four awarenesses", solidifying the "four self-confidences", and achieving the "two preservations." [see glossary for clarification of these Party phrases] Persist in being people-centered, integrate the positive view of old age and the concept of healthy aging into the entire course of trial and enforcement work, vigorously carrying forward the traditional Chinese value of filial piety and respecting elders, in order to provide effective judicial services and safeguards for promoting the establishment of a society that is friendly for the elderly and strengthening protections of the elderly's rights and interests.

2. Major Significance. The aging of the population is a relatively long-term, basic national condition of our county. As the extent of the aging deepens and the labor supply is reduced, the pressure from families' burden to care for the elderly and in supplying basic public services will further increase. Effectively responding to the aging of our nation's population is a matter affecting our nation's overall development, the well-being of hundreds of millions of ordinary people, as well as social harmony and stability; and has major significance for the full establishment of a modern socialist nation. All levels of people's courts should fully recognize the importance and urgency of implementing the national strategy for the addressing the aging of the population, and employ effective measures to truly safeguard the elderly's lawful rights and interests, letting the elderly share in the accomplishments of reform and development, and enjoy peace and happiness in their twilight years.

3.. Goals and tasks. In the new phase of development, all levels of people's courts should establish and complete work systems that connect throughout the levels to ensure completion, including services and safeguards for the national strategy to actively respond to the aging of the population in the whole of adjudication and enforcement work. Promote improvements to beneficial policies and rule systems for the elderly, fully solicit the opinions of the elderly in the drafting and enforcement of judicial policies involving the elderly's rights and interests, promote the realization and detailed implementation of each policy measure of the people's courts to serve and safeguard the implementation of the National Strategy for Actively Responding to the Aging of the Population.

II. Give fuly play to the role of trial functions to strengthen the protection of the elderly's rights and interests.

4. Properly hear cases of marital and family disputes involving the elderly in accordance with law. Hear cases of support in accordance with law to ensure the basic living needs of the elderly. Strengthen the force of mediation in cases of emotional support for the elderly to enhance emotional care for the elderly. Emphasize investigation of court authority, bring discretion further under the law, and protect the elderly's freedom of marriage in accordance with law. In disputes over property division of cohabitating elderly persons, factors such as the amount of time they have lived together and how much each party has paid out should be comprehensively considered to take both parties' rights and interests into consideration and realize fairness and equity.

5. Properly hear cases of inheritance disputes involving the elderly in accordance with law. Implement the Civil Code's system for estate managers, determining estate managers in accordance with law, ensuring that the estate is properly managed and smoothly divided. All forms of inheritance should be protected in accordance with law, truly respecting the true wishes of the elderly when they set out their will, and safeguarding the rights of the elderly to divide their estates. Lawfully determine the efficacy of all forms of maintenance agreement by will to satisfy the diversified needs of eldercare.

6. Thoroughly implement the Domestic Violence Law to protect the safety of elderly family members in their persons and property. Promote improvements of the big picture system for combatting domestic violence participated in by all departments. Strengthen guidance in presenting evidence for elderly victims of domestic violence, and increase the extent of psychological counseling and support. Establish a 'green channel' for personal safety protection order cases, increasing the extent of evidence collection in accordance with authority to promptly issue and serve personal safety protection orders in accordance with law. Strengthen coordination and cooperation with departments such as the public security organs, residents' committees, and villagers' committees, fully utilize the system for assistance in enforcement, to ensure that personal safety protection orders are truly useful. Establish mechanisms for periodic visits and tracking, to expand the scope of extended services in countering domestic violence.

7. Improve the guardianship system for the elderly. Properly hear cases of disputes regarding guardianship rights, respecting the true wishes of the elderly party to the greatest extent possible. Lawfully identify the guardians as determined by advance guardianship directives and urge them to perform guardianship responsibilities in accordance with law. Lawfully revoke the guardianship qualifications of guardians who harm the lawful rights and interests of elderly persons who lack or have limited civil capacity, and arrange temporary guardianship for the elderly as needed, lawfully designate a guardian in accordance with the principle of the best interest of the charge, and protect the elderly persons' lawful rights and interests such as rights in their person and property.

8. Properly hear cases of inheritance disputes involving care for the elderly in accordance with law to facilitate getting care to the elderly. Fully implement the provisions of the Civil Code on residence rights, lawfully hearing cases on residency rights and interests involving the elderly, satisfy the needs of the elderly for a stable place to live, and provide solid legal safeguards for the model of "reliance on owned real-estate to support the elderly". [a reverse mortgage system] Properly hear cases of disputes over eldercare service contracts in accordance with law, ensuring that eldercare establishments provide services that meet quality and safety standards, and promoting the regulated development of eldercare.

9. Promote the development of rural eldercare safeguard services. Hear cases of disputes involving rural land contracting rights or violations of the rights and interests of members of collective economic organizations to ensure that the elderly enjoy rights and interests as members of collective economic organizations and to increase the income of rural elderly persons. Give play to the role of adjudication functions to ensure that elderly villagers who do not have the capacity to work, a source of income, or a person to care for or support them, enjoy the rural five guarantees.

10. Properly hear cases of medical service contract disputes involving the elderly in accordance with law. Identify all parties' rights and obligations in in-home medical service contracts such as for home sickbeds and housecalls, to safeguard the lawful rights and interests of the elderly. Properly hear cases of disputes over service contracts such as for medical care for the elderly, or long-term care for elderly persons with deficits, giving play to the adjudication function to ensure the thorough implementation of comprehensive medical care policies, to escort the elderly in living a healthy life.

11. Strengthen protections of the elderly's right to work, to promote having a fulfilling old age. Hear cases of labor disputes involving the elderly in accordance with law, assist the elderly in employment and protect the rights of the elderly to seek employment again. Promote the "silver years" action, guiding elderly persons with definite experience and professional skills to actively participate in civil mediation and other such activities. Based on actual conditions, all levels of people's court may explore establishing a pool of retired judges and encourage retired judges who are willing to actively participate in pre-trial mediation, investigations, and research.

12. Properly hear cases related to the elderly's participation in social and cultural life in accordance with law, promoting learning and entertainment in later life. Properly hear cases of travel contract disputes involving the elderly, urging and guiding service bodies to fully and reasonably fulfill their obligations to give alerts and explanations, as well as to protect security, continuously increasing the quality of the elderly's lives, and satisfying the elderly's ever-increasing demand to for a good life.

13. In accordance with law, increase the force of struggle against illegal and criminal conduct infringing on the rights and interests of the elderly in their persons and property. Strictly punish illegal and criminal acts such as abuse, abandonment, or assault of the elderly in accordance with law. Strictly combat telecom or online fraud targetting the elderly, or carrying out predatory lending as a reverse mortgage; lawfully punish illegal and criminal conduct by family members such as theft, fraud, takings, embezzlement, extortion, or intentional harm of elderly persons' property. Lawfully punish illegal and criminal conduct in the consumer sector to protect the consumer rights and interests of the elderly and create a secure, convenient, and creditworthy consumer environment for the elderly.

14. Increase the force of enforcement in cases involving the rights and interests of the elderly. All local people's courts should increase the force of enforcement in cases involving the residency rights of the elderly; lawfully and promptly preserving the rights and interests of the elderly in their residences and ensuring have a place to live. Increase the force of advance enforcement in cases seeking support and alimony for elderly persons. innovate methods of enforcement in cases of disputes on emotional support for the elderly, urging and guiding those with support obligations to actively fulfil their obligations.

III. Continue to deepen reforms and innovation establish and complete judicial service mechanisms to benefit the elderly.

15. Deepen the construction of one-stop diversified dispute resolution mechanisms, and promote the resolution of conflicts and disputes involving the elderly at the source. Adhere to and develop a 'Fengqiao Experience" for the new era, persisting in putting non-litigation methods of dispute resolution at the forefront. Establish and improve mechanisms for early warnings, screening, and investigation of conflicts and disputes involving the elderly such as regarding marriage and family or encroachment of rights. Build diversified systems for dispute resolution and litigation services, promoting on-stop diversified resolution for conflicts and disputes involving the elderly. Promote the extension of the people's courts' one-stop diversified dispute resolution to the grassroots level, promote the people's courts' entry into villages, communities, and grids, and strengthen circuit adjudication, to promptly resolve conflicts and disputes at the scene. Persist in being oriented towards serving the elderly's needs, establish one-stop litigation services, providing litigation services that 'can be handled at one place, one website, with one number, and a single visit".

16. Thoroughly advance the integration of the Core Socialist Values in the explanations of law and reasoning in ruling and judgment documents. The use of Core Socialist Values in explaining the law and reasoning should be increased in cases involving the protection of the elderly or other vulnerable groups in which there are larger disagreements, and which might lead to broad public concern. Strengthen the guiding function of the Core Socialist Values in cases involving the rights and interests of the elderly, truly giving play to the functions of judicial rulings and judgments such as for regulation, assessment, education, and guidance, to bring about the organic unification of political, legal, and social efficacy.

17. Further deepen the reform of the family trial methods and work mechanisms. Set up a humanist conception of trial that emphasizes extending the protection of elderly parties from interests in their persons and property to their personality, security, and emotional interests. Give full play the role of family trials in diagnosing, restoring, and treatment of marital and family relationships, providing a stable and harmonious family environment so that the elderly can enjoy their later years.

18. Strengthen legal publicity. All levels of people's court should strengthen legal publicity and popular education through methods such as bringing law into communities, travelling circuit trials, spreading study of example classes, and so forth. Increase the elderly's awareness of using legal methods to protect their own interests, increasing their ability to recognize and prevent fraud. Promote the establishment of the entire populations' legal awareness for safeguarding the elderly's lawful rights and interests, forming a positive atmosphere of care and concern for the elderly.

19. Increase the extent of legal aid and judicial aid. Strengthen coordination and cooperation with legal aid institutions to lawfully and promptly transfer applications for legal aid from elderly parties. The people's courts shall lawfully grant aid to elderly parties who meet the requirements for judicial aid. In conjunction with the relevant departments, strengthen the extent of temporary shelter and legal aid support for elderly victims, increase judicial aid, and promote the establishment of a tiered aid system.

20. Establish litigation service mechanisms suited to the elderly to provide safeguards and facilitate the elderly's participation in litigation activities. Consolidate the types of cases involving the elderly and their characteristics, and explore the establishment of professional trial mechanisms for civil cases involving the elderly. Permit elderly persons who truly have difficulty in writing a complaint to initiate litigation to do so orally in accordance with law, effectively give litigation service guidance and assistance to the elderly. Launch green channels for elderly persons with limited mobility such as at-home or telephone case filing, to make case filing quick and convenient. While carrying out online case filing and electronic litigation, simultaneously preserve traditional judicial service models that are easier for the elderly to accept. Improve accessibility in litigation facilities and services to facilitate the participation of the elderly. Based on the circumstances of the case, permit assistive or accompanying personnel to accompany parties appearing in court. Lawfully and appropriately address cases of petitioning by the elderly that involves litigation, special care shall be shown to elderly parties.

Supreme People's Court

March 29, 2022


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