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Notification of the Supreme People's Court on Thoroughly Implementing the "People's Republic of China People's Assessors Law"

Title: Notification of the Supreme People's Court on Thoroughly Implementing the "People's Republic of China People's Assessors Law"
Promulgating Entities: Supreme People's Court
Reference number: Law〔2018〕No. 110
Promulgation Date: 2018-4-28
Expiration date: 
Source of text:

High people's courts of all provinces, autonomous regions and directly governed municipalities, High People's Court of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region branch of the production and construction Corps:

On April 27, 2018, the 2nd session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress adopted the "People's Republic of China People's Assessors Law" (Hereinafter "People's Assessors Law", which took effect on promulgation. The release of the "People's Assessors Law" is a major event in the construction of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics, and it is also a new milestone in protecting citizens' democratic rights and advancing the construction of judicial democracy. Notice is hereby given on the following matters so as to thoroughly implement the "People's Assessors Law", and to better about the functions and effects of the people's assessor system in the people's courts trial work:

I. Fully recognize the important significance of implementing the "People's Assessors Law"

The "People's Assessors Law" comprehensively synthesizes the 13 years of experience in practice implementing the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress's "Decision on Improving the People's Assessors System" and codifies the experiences from reform pilot projects since the third and fourth plenary sessions of the 18 Party Congress in a special law; further improving aspects such as the selection, trial participation, and management of people's assessors; signifying the entrance of a new phase for our nations' people's assessor system. Correctly implementation of the "People's Assessor Law" is conducive to the improvement of the socialist judicial system with Chinese characteristics; and has very important significance for promoting judicial democracy, promoting judicial fairness, safeguarding judicial integrity, and enhancing judicial credibility; so that the people will feel fairness and justice in every judicial case.

People's courts at all levels should fully recognize the importance of drafting the "Law of the People's Assessors", place great importance on the implementation of the "Law People's Assessors Law", and make earnestly studying, publicizing, and implementing the " People's Assessors Law" important tasks on the agenda. We should closely rely on the firm leadership of local party committees, the strong supervision from the people's congresses and their standing committees, the vigorous cooperation of the relevant government departments, and the care and support of all sectors of society, and take the promulgation of the "People's Assessors Law" as an opportunity to improve working mechanisms, increase work, expand social impact, and strive to create a new situation for people's assessor work.

Each High People's Court should truly bear entity responsibility for implementation of the 'People's Assessors Law' , synthesizing the actual local conditions to research and formulate a work-plan and implement measures for implementing the "People's Assessors Law", strengthening organization and cooperation, getting a hold of deployments, clarifying work responsibilities, strengthening guidance and oversight, and taking hold of implementation at every level.

II. Increase study and publicity of the "People's Assessors Law"

People's courts at all levels should carry out diverse forms of study activity in accordance to a plan and stages, first taking hold of the studies of leading cadres in courts and judges more boadly, to learn one step, then more deeply, to comprehensively and accurately learn the legislative spirit and principle content of the 'People's Assessors Law" ; strive to increase judges' level of understanding and application of the "People's Assessors Law", and increase judges' capacity to guide people's assessors' participation in trial, ensuring that each item of the People's Assessors Law is deeply rooted in people's minds and effectively implemented.

Measures should be employed through reliance on vectors such as television, newspaper, radio, internet, mobile phones, news conferences, symposiums, and lectures; using new media platforms such as official websites, microblogs, and WeChat; and employing a variety of methods such as going into communities, going to enterprises, and meeting the public; for comprehensive and integrated publicity on the important significance and main content of the "People's Assessors Law", as well as on examples and the actual impact of people's assessors' participation in trials, giving full play to the role of guiding public opinion, further strengthening public awareness, understanding, and support of the people's assessor system, creating a positive environment for implementation of the "People's Assessors Law" in the entire society.

III. Actively cooperate with the judicial-administrative organs to select people's assessors well

After the "People’s Assessor Law" is implemented, the selection of people’s assessors will be led by the judicial-administrative organs, and the basic level people's courts and public security agencies are to cooperate with them. Each High People's Court should actively coordinate and cooperate with the judicial-administrative organs to research and release a work-plan on the selection of people's assessors in that region, with careful organization, understood progression, and strict control. Employ effective measures to guide each basic level people's court in the jurisdiction to cooperate with the judicial administrative organs and complete efforts to select the first batch of people's assessors as scheduled.

Each basic level people's court should actively cooperate with the judicial-administrative organs to complete efforts such as random selection of people's assessors and qualifications reviews; and is responsible for efforts such as requesting appointments of people's assessors and swearing in. Each region's selection of people's assessors is to be summarized by the Higher People's Court and reported to the Political Department of the Supreme People's Court.

So as to ensure the normal conduct of trial activities, people's assessors who have been appointed before the implementation of the "People's Assessors Law" will continue to serve and will be automatically removed from office after their term expires. For people's assessors that do not meet the "People's Assessors Law"'s requirements for selection, the Standing Committee of the people's congress at the same level is to be requested to remove them from the position of people's assessor.

After the People’s Assessor Law takes effect, basic level people's courts should first collect baseline statistics on the number of people's assessors remaining in office, and on this foundation, with full consideration of that court's trial work situation and any actual requirements such as higher people's courts random selection of people's assessors from that courts' pool, and in accordance with the provisions that people's assessors for that court must not be less than three times the number of judges in the court, promptly apply to the Standing Committee of the people's congress for the same level for the designation of the number of people's assessors and report this to the judicial-administrative organs, and up to the High People's Court for recording. Hereafter, the number of people's assessors selected through individual applications and organizational recommendations as required for trial activities, must not exceed the 1/5 of the people's assessor list.

IV. Strictly enforce each provision related to people's assessors participation in trial activities

The People's Assessors Law applies only to first-instance criminal, civil, and administrative cases accepted after it came into force, and in first-instance criminal, civil, and administrative cases accepted before the People's Assessors Law took effect, the trial activities in which people's assessors participated remain effective.

Each High People's Court should guide the courts in their jurisdiction to reasonably determine the scope people's assessors participation in trials, correctly grasping the delineation of reviewing facts and laws, preventing one-sided pursuit of assessor participation rates, resisting situations such as the 'assessor based at the court' or 'off-the books judges', and strive to realize a shift of emphasis from the "number" of cases with assessors to the 'quality' of cases with assessors. On the basis of the jurisdictions actual conditions, each level of people's court is to reasonably determine the maximum number of cases that people's assessors will participate in annually, and promptly announce this to the public in an appropriate form and report up to the High People's Court for recording.

All levels of people's courts should make full use of information technology and constantly improve the work system and technical safeguard mechanisms for the random selection of people's assessors to participate in case trials, ensuring that people's assessors participating in individual case trials are all determined through random sampling to prevent the emergence of phenomena such as fixed collegial panels of judges and a small number of people's assessors hearing cases, and giving more people's assessors the opportunity to participate in hearing cases.

All levels of people's courts should emphasize the obligations of judges to guide and prompt people's assessors participation in trials, strengthening their awareness of guidance, improving their ability to guide, and standardizing the means by which they guide; responsibility for interpretation should be increased, so that judges shall promptly give guidance, prompting, and explanations on matters such as fact determination, evidence rules, and legal provisions involved in the case, as well as on important issues for people's assessors' attention; giving full play to the substantive role of people's assessors in trial work.

V. Strengthen training, management, and safeguards for people's assessors

All levels of people's courts should improve and strengthen efforts to train people's assessors. Based on changes in the duties of people's assessors participating in trials and new performance requirements, conduct planned training for all people's assessors, strengthen training on people's assessors' rights and duties, litigation procedures, court skills and other areas; and fully utilize case study, live demonstrations, and special reports to truly raise the capacity of people's assessors to perform their duties.

people's assessor work should be included in the overall construction of people's courts information technology, strengthening the force of the informatization to make it so that Supreme People's Court's people's assessor information management system and local courts' people's assessor management systems are interconnected, making it so that the people's assessor management system is interconnected with trial management system information, actively advancing the construction of functions such as management and analysis of people's assessor information, the management of assessors' performance of their duties, management of assessor evaluations, management of oversight of people's assessors, and people's assessor service platforms;actively using information tactics such as mobile APPs, remote reading of the case file, and electronic signatures, making it so that the full process of selection, trial participation, and management are digitized, further increasing the IT level of people's assessor management, and facilitating people's assessors participation in trial.

All levels of people's courts should actively coordinate with financial departments to include the allowances that shall be enjoyed by people's assessors participating in trial activities and the expenses necessary for the people’s courts' implementation of people's assessor selection, management, and training, in the operating funds of the people’s court with full safeguards.

VI. Earnestly complete efforts to summarize experience and give feedback comments

In the course of studying, publicizing, and implementing the "People's Assessors Law", each level of people's court should continuously summarize experiences, and where problems are encountered, they should be earnestly researched and concrete ideas should be put forward, and after reporting to the High People's Courts. it is to be promptly reported to the Supreme People's Court. The Supreme People's Court will, in due course, conduct a special supervision inspection on the each High People's Court's implementation of the "People's Assessors Law" , and promptly guide each regions' people's assessor work, ensuring the correct implementation of the "People's Assessors Law."

Supreme People's Court

April 28, 2018


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