Several Opinions on the application of ordinary procedures to hear cases in which the defendant admits guilt. (Provisional)

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Several Opinions on the application of ordinary procedures to hear cases in which the defendant admits guilt. (Provisional)

The Supreme People's Court, The Supreme People's Procuratorate, Ministry of Justice

Several Opinions on the application of ordinary procedures to hear cases in which the defendant admits guilt. (Provisional)

  These Opinions are formulated on the basis of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China, taken together with the actual conditions of criminal prosecution work, so as to increase the quality and efficiency of trials in criminal cases.

Article 1: First-instance trial cases in which the defendant has no objection to the fundamental alleged case facts and voluntarily admits guilt, ordinarily apply these Opinions at trial.

  In cases where the defendant is accused of committing multiple crimes, these Opinions may be applied for trial of the portion in which the defendant admits guilt.

Article 2: These Opinions are not applied to hear the following cases:

  1. Where the defendant is blind, deaf, or mute;

  2. Where a death sentence might be given;

  3. Where a foreigner has committed a crime;

  4. Where the case has a significant social impact;

  5. Where the defendant admits guilt, but upon review it is found that it might not comprise a crime;

  6. Where in a joint crime, some of the defendants don't admit guilt or do not consent to applying these Opinions for trial.

  7. Other cases where there Opinions should not be applied at trial.

Article 3: In cases that the people's procuratorate finds are eligible to apply these Opinions for trial, it may suggest that the people's court apply them at trial when it submits its indictment.

In public prosecution cases where the people's procuratorate has not recommended applying these Opinions at trial, where upon review the people's court finds that these Opinions may be applied at trial, it shall solicit the opinions of the people's procuratorate, defendants, and defenders. Where the people's procuratorate, defendants, and defenders consent, apply these Opinions at trial.

Article 4: Before the people's court decides to apply these Opinions for trial, it shall clearly tell the defendants of the relevant law, the possible legal consequences that might result from admitting guilt and applying these Opinions, and confirm that the defendant voluntarily consents to applying these procedures.

Article 5: In cases where the people's court applies these Opinions at trial, it shall notify the people's procuratorate, defendants in writing.

Article 6: In cases where it is decided to apply these Opinions for trial, the people's court may reading the case file before holding in-court proceedings.

Article 7: In cases applying these Opinions to hold in-court proceedings, after the prosecutor has read the indictment aloud, the collegial panel shall question the defendant regarding his thoughts on the alleged facts and charges, verifying whether he voluntarily admits guilt and consents to using these Opinions to carry out trial, and whether he understands the legal consequences that could result from admitting guilt. Where the defendant voluntarily admits guilt and consents to apply these provisions to conduct trial, the following simplifications may be made to specific trial methods:

  (1) The defendants may choose to not make another confession regarding the facts alleged in the indictment.

  (2) The prosecutor, defender and adjudicators' questioning of the defendant may be simplified or skipped.

(3) For evidence that neither the prosecution nor defense objects to, explanation may be limited to the name of the evidence and what it proves. Upon confirming that the public prosecutor, defendant, and defender have no objections, the collegial panel may verify evidence at court.

  Evidence that the collegial panel finds must be investigated and verified, evidence to which the parties have objections, or evidence that either the prosecution or defense requests be presented or read aloud, shall be presented, read aloud, and debated.

  (4) the prosecution and defense carry out debate rotating primarily around determination of the charge, sentencing, and other issues that are in contention.

Article 8: Cases applying these Opinions at trial shall strictly enforce the basic principles and procedures of the Criminal Procedure Law, so that the facts are clear and the evidence is credible and sufficient, truly protecting the procedural rights of the defendants.

Article 9: People's courts may give lighter punishments to defendants who voluntarily confess, where appropriate.

Article 10: In cases applying these Opinions for trial, the people's court shall ordinarily announce the verdict at court.

Article 11: Where in the course of applying these Opinions to hear, circumstances are discovered that do not comply with the provisions of these Opinions, the people's court shall decide to no longer apply these opinions for trial.

Article 12:   These opinions take effect on March 14, 2003.

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