Provisions on Providing Defendants with Legal Aid During Review of Death Penalty Cases (Provisional)

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Promulgation Date: 2021-12-30
Title: Supreme People's Court and Ministry of Justice Provisions on Providing Defendants with Legal Aid During in Review of Death Penalty Cases (Provisional)
Document Number:法〔2021〕348号
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities:Supreme People's Court, the Ministry of Justice
Source of text: http://www.court.gov.cn/fabu-xiangqing-339351.html

These Provisions are drafted on the basis of laws and judicial interpretation such as the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC, the Lawyers Law of the PRC, and the Legal Aid Law of the PRC, and the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation on the Application of the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC, so as to give full play to the role of defense lawyers in the course of death penalty review and to truly ensure the defendants' procedural rights in death penalty review cases.

Article 1: When the Supreme People's Court performs a final review of a death penalty case and the defendant applies for legal aid, the Ministry of Justice legal aid center shall be notified to appoint a lawyer to provide them with a defense.

Legal aid notices shall indicate the name of the defendant, the cause of action, the grounds and basis for providing legal aid, and the contact methods for the case trial court, and have the judgment or ruling documents from the second-instance trial or High People's Court review attached.

Article 2: When High People's Courts serve the defendants with a lawfully issued death penalty judgment or ruling document, they shall notify the defendants that they may retain a defender for the period of the Supreme People's Court's death penalty review, and that they may also apply for legal aid; where the defendants apply for legal aid, they shall raise it within 10 days, and the written application for legal aid shall be transferred with the case.

Article 3: After the Ministry of Justice legal aid center receives a legal aid notice from the Supreme People's Court, it shall employ appropriate means to appoint lawyers to provide the defendants with a defense.

Article 4: After the Ministry of Justice legal aid center receives a legal aid notice from the Supreme People's Court, it shall appoint a lawyer with at least three years of experience in criminal defense practice the serve as the defendant's defense lawyers, and notify the Supreme People's Court.

The letter issued by the Ministry of Justice legal aid center shall indicate the name, law firm, and contact methods for the appointed defense lawyer.

Article 5: The Supreme People's Court shall notify defendants that a defense lawyer has been appointed, or entrust the High People's Court to do so. Where defendants refuse the lawyer appointed to provide them a defense, the Supreme People's Court shall allow it.

Article 6: Where defendants retain their own defense lawyers during the period of death penalty review, the Ministry of Justice legal aid center shall make a decision to terminate legal aid and promptly inform the Supreme People's Court by letter.

Where the Supreme People's Court discovers one of the conditions above during the course of handling a death penalty review case, they shall promptly inform the Ministry of Justice legal aid center in person. The Ministry of Justice legal aid center shall make a decision to terminate legal aid.

Article 7: Within 10 days of receiving an appointment, defense lawyers shall submit legal aid appointment formalities to the Supreme People's Court through means such as fax or mail.

Article 8: Defense lawyers are to exercise defense rights in accordance with law, and the Supreme People's Court shall facilitate.

Article 9: When defense lawyers encounter challenges or problems in lawfully performing defense duties, the Supreme People's Court and the relevant departments of the Ministry of Justice shall promptly coordinate a resolution, truly ensuring defense lawyers lawful performance of defense duties.

Article 10: Within a month and a half of receiving an appointment, the defense lawyers shall submit written defense opinions or give their defense opinions in person. Where the defense lawyers request to give their defense opinions in person, the Supreme People's Court shall hear the defense lawyers' opinions.

Article 11: The ruling or judgment documents in death penalty review cases shall indicate the name and law firm of the defense lawyers, and express the defense lawyers' defense opinions. People's courts entrusted with announcing the verdict shall send the Supreme People's Court's written judgment opinion to the defense attorney within 5 days of announcing the verdict.

Article 12: The Ministry of Justice is to guide and oversee legal aid efforts in death penalty review cases in the whole nation, with the Ministry of Justice legal aid center responsible for specific organization and implementation.

Article 13: These rules shall enter into force on January 1st, 2022.

 

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