Notice on Jurisdiction and other issues on Crimes at Sea

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Promulgation Date: 2020-2-20
Title: Notice on Jurisdiction and other issues on Crimes at Sea 
Document Number:海警〔2020〕1号
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities:Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate, China Coast Guard 
Source of text: Public Account of the Supreme People's Court

To the high people's courts and people's procuratorates of all provinces, autonomous regions and directly- governed municipalities, to the military courts and people's procuratorates of the people's liberation army, to the branch of the high people's court of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region for the production and construction corps, and the people's procuratorates of the Xinjiang production and construction corps, to the various sub-bureaus and bureaus directly under the China Coast Guard, and to the coast guard bureaus of coastal provinces, autonomous regions and directly-governed municipalities:

The following notice on the jurisdiction of cases of crimes at sea and other issues is hereby given on the basis of the "P.R.C. Criminal Procedure Law", the "Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on the Exercise of Maritime Rights Protection and Law Enforcement Powers by the China Coast Guard" as well as other relevant laws, so as to lawfully punish crimes at sea, preserve state sovereignty, security, maritime interests, and order at sea.

I. The following principles are to be followed in determining the jurisdiction of criminal cases occurring at sea:

(1) Crimes committed in the internal and territorial waters of the people's Republic of China are in the jurisdiction of the people's court for the site of the crime or the place where the defendant landed; if it is more appropriate for the trial to be heard by the people's court for the defendant's place of residence, the jurisdiction may be exercised by the people's court for the defendant's place of residence;

(2) Crimes committed aboard Chinese vessels outside the territory of the People's Republic of China are in the jurisdiction of the people's court for the place where the Chinese port where the vessel was originally moored or for the place where the defendant landed or entered the territory;

(3) Crimes committed by Chinese citizens in waters outside the territorial waters of the people's Republic of China are in the jurisdiction of the people's court of their place of landing, place of entry, place of residence before departure or current residence; where the victim is a Chinese citizen, it may also be in the jurisdiction of the people's court for the victims' place of residence prior to leaving the country or current place of residence;

(4) Where foreigners commit crimes against the state the People's Republic of China or its citizens in waters outside the territorial waters of the People's Republic of China that are to be accepted and punished on the basis of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, the people's court for the place where the foreigner lands, enters the territory, or resides after entering the territory has jurisdiction, and the people's court for the victims' place of residence before leaving the territory or current place of residence may also have jurisdiction;

(5) For crimes provided for in international treaties that the People's Republic of China has concluded or acceded to, where the People's Republic of China exercises criminal jurisdiction within the scope of its treaty obligations, the people's court of the place where the defendant was captured, landed, or entered the territory is to have jurisdiction.

The 'site of the crime' as provided for in the first item of the preceding paragraph includes the place where the crime was committed and where its effects occurred. The place of entry into the territory, as provided for in items 2-5 of the preceding paragraph, includes entering our nation's land borders or territorial waters, as well as the place where airplanes land within our nation's territory.

II. Initiation and investigation of criminal cases occurring at sea is to be carried out by the coast guard bodies on the basis of the jurisdiction principles provided for in article 1.

Where the area designated as having jurisdiction on the basis of the principles in article 1 has not set up a coast guard body, the China Coast Guard is to consult with the people's procuratorate and people's court to designate jurisdiction.

III. Where criminal cases handled by coastal provinces', autonomous regions', or directly-governed municipalities' coast guard bureaus need to be submitted for approval of arrest or transferred for prosecution, they are to be submitted or transferred to the provincial-level people's procuratorate for that location in accordance with law.

Where criminal cases handled by coast guard bureaus subordinate to coastal provinces', autonomous regions', or directly-governed municipalities' coast guard bureau, or by branches or subordinate bureaus of the China Coast Guard, need to be submitted for approval of arrest or transferred for prosecution, they are to be submitted or transferred to the districted city level people's procuratorate for that location in accordance with law.

Where criminal cases handled by coast guard work stations need to be submitted for approval of arrest or transferred for prosecution, they are to be submitted or transferred to the basic-level people's procuratorate for that area in accordance wtih law.

IV. Where after people's procuratorates review cases of crimes at sea that are transferred by coat guard bodies for prosecution in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law, judicial interpretations, and this Notice, they find that another people's procuratoratre should indict, they shall transfer the case to a people's procuratorate with jurisdiction.

Where it is necessary to designate jurisdiction for trial in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law, judicial interpretations, and this Notice, the coast guard bodies shall give notice to the people's procuratorate before transferring the case for prosecution, and the people's procuratorate is to consult with the people's court of the same level to handle matters related to the designation of jurisdiction.

V. In cases of crimes at sea that the people's procuratorate raises for prosecution, where after review the people's court finds that it complies with the Criminal Procedure Law, judicial interpretations, and this Notice, they shall accept it in accordance with law.

VI. Coast guard bodies handling criminal cases shall proactively accept oversight from the procuratorate and establish an information-sharing platform with the procuratorate, periodically reporting to the procuratorate organs on circumstances such as the linkage of administrative law enforcement and criminal justice, opening and breaking criminal cases, and employing compulsory measures.

The people's procuratorates for the areas in which coast guard bodies are located are to oversee the coast guard's activities in opening and investigating criminal cases.

Coast guard bodies handling major, difficult, or complicated criminal cases may ask the people's procuratorates to get involved in investigative activities and may hear the opinions and recommendations of the people's procuratorates. When people's procuratorates find it is truly necessary, they may appoint personnel to get involved in the investigative activities of coast guard bodies and submit comments on the collection of evidence and the application of law, overseeing whether the investigative activities are legal, and the coast guard bodies shall cooperate.

This Notice is to take effect from the date of its issue. After receiving this Notice, each region is to earnestly implement it. Please separately report any issues encountered in implementation to the Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate, and China Coast Guard in a timely fashion.

Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate, China Coast Guard

February 20, 2020

 

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