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Title: Supreme People's Court Opinions on Strengthening Case-handling Work by Court Presidents and Division Heads at All Levels of People's Courts (Provisional) Promulgating Entities:Supreme People's Court Reference number: Legal Release (2017) No. 10 Promulgation Date: 2017-4-10 Expiration date: Source of text: http://www.chinacourt.org/law/detail/2017/04/id/149381.shtml
The following Opinions on increasing court presidents and division heads case-handling work are submitted on the basis of the "Central Polical-legal Committee's Notice on Strictly Implementing Standards and Procedures for the Selection of Judges and Prosecutors", "The Supreme People's Court's Several Opinions on Improving the People's Courts' Judicial Responsibility System", and other such relevant provisions, together with actual conditions of trial work, so as to comprehensively implement and put in place a system of judicial responsibility, optimize the allocation of trial resources, and give full play to the role of people's court presidents and division heads in demonstrating, leading, and guiding trial work.
1. Presidents and division heads of all levels of people's court shall handle cases after entering the personnel roster, including handling cases alone, participating in collegial panels as a presiding judge, participating in collegial panels as chief judge, or as a member of the collegial panel, and it is prohibited to no handle cases after entering the personnel rosters or to have others handle cases in one's name, and methods such as hearing reports, written reviews, and case approval must not be used as a substitute for handling cases.
2. Presidents and division heads of all levels of people's court shall handle cases based on management divisions, professional backgrounds, and individual strengths, emphasizing trial of major, difficult, complicated cases, novel types of cases, and on cases where the application of law has widespread guidance value.
3. Presidents and division heads of all levels of people's court shall serve as presiding judges in handling a certain number of cases. Matters such as moderating or participating in professional judges committees or adjudication committees, coordinating supervision and handling of major sensitive cases, receiving petitioners, and directing enforcement, shall be calculated into workloads, and included in the post's performance evaluations, but this cannot be used to offset caseloads.
4. The annual case load handled by division heads of basic level and intermediate people's courts shall reach 50-70% of the average case load of judges in that department.
The caseload of presidents of basic level people's courts shall reach 5-10% of the average case load of judges in that court, and that of other court leaders shall reach 30-40% of the average case load of judges in that court,
The caseload of presidents of intermediate level people's courts shall reach 5% of the average case load of judges in that court, and that of other court leaders shall reach 20-30% of the average case load of judges in that court,
Basic-level and intermediate people's courts may appropriately increase court presidents' and division heads' caseload for handling cases independently or for participating in trials from the minimum standard provided by these Opinions, as necessary in light of the cases accepted and concluded in that court together and the task of completing trials.
The minimum standards for caseloads handled by the presidents of the high people's courts and the Supreme People's court are to be provided by the High People's Courts and the Supreme People's Court respectively.
All levels of people's court shall comprehensively consider factors such as the level of court, leaders' posts, subject are management divisions, the trial management and oversight duties and administrative affairs they are undertaking, and comprehensively use a weight coefficient and other such methods in calculating average caseloads, to reasonably determine annual caseload requirements for court presidents and division heads independent handling of cases and participation in hearing of cases; and disclose this on office and case handling platforms. The minimum standards for case volumes shall be promptly adjusted on the basis of trial work tasks, judicial personnel ratios and deployments, and changes in the number of auxiliary personnel.
5. All levels of people's court shall establish work mechanisms to ensure that court presidents and division heads handle cases. The division heads and deputy division heads of basic level people's courts implementing trial team reforms, shall be directly incorporated into the trial teams and undertake the corresponding trial and oversight duties; explore incorporating court presidents, vice-presidents and other leaders into trial teams to hear cases.
All levels of people's court shall look to actual conditions and assign court presidents and division heads with necessary assistants and clerks, letting the presidents and division heads concentrate their energy on in-court proceedings, case deliberations, drafting documents, and other core case-handling matters.
All levels of people's court shall strictly enforce the "Provisions on Protecting Judicial Personnel in the Lawful Performance of their Legally Prescribed Duties" and their implementation measures, actively gaining the support of local Party committees and governments, further refining committee documents, compressing the management process, and ensuring that court presidents and division heads have more time and energy to put into case-handling efforts.
6. Court presidents and division heads shall primarily have cases assigned to them. All levels of people's court shall establish sound mechanisms for case screening and diverting at case filing, promoting prioritizing giving court presidents and division heads major, difficult, complicated, and novel types of cases, and cases with widespread guidance value for application of law. Especially significant, difficult, or complicated cases may be lawfully heard by a collegial bench composed of the president, vice president, and members of the adjudication committee.
7. Case-handling by court presidents and division heads of all levels of people's court shall play a demonstration, leading, and guidance role. Court presidents and division heads are encouraged to hold demonstration courts, and increase the extent of efforts to broadcast trial of cases handled by court presidents and division heads. Court presidents and division heads who are handling cases shall simultaneously pay attention to summarizing trial experience, unifying judgment scales, and regulating guidance in trial work.
8. The completion of case-handling by court presidents and division heads of all levels of people's court shall be open and receive supervision. The departments of trial management for all High People's Courts are responsible for annually calculating and verifying court presidents and division heads caseloads in the jurisdiction; for reporting monthly on the completion of case-handling tasks by people's court presidents, vice-presidents, full-time members of the adjudication committee and other court leaders, including the case-loads they handled, the types of cases, the trial procedures, the number of in-court proceedings, and the quality of trials. The trial management departments of all courts are responsible calculating and verifying the caseloads of their courts' presidents, vice-presidents, and division heads, and giving periodic reports.
Higher level people's court's shall periodically inspect the case-handling of lower level people's court presidents and division heads, and issue circulars on those who do not achieve standards or who entrust others to handle cases in their name; carrying out strict accountability when discovered.
9. The case-handling performance of court presidents and division chiefs shall be included within the scope of their work performance evaluations and supervision. Where court presidents' and division heads' case handling fails performance falls short of evaluation standards, they shall be removed from staff rolls. Court presidents and division heads undertake important special project efforts, and coordinate supervision and handling of major sensitive cases; where it is necessary in light of the circumstances to reduce case-handling tasks, this shall be reported to the people's court at the level above for approval and filing.
10. In addition to those expressly listed, court presidents and division heads, as used in these Opinions, includes presidents, vice-presidents, full-time members of the adjudication committees, and other leaders, division heads, and parties responsbile for other trial (and enforcement) operations departments.
11. The Supreme People's Court is responsible for the interpretation of these Opinions.
12. These Provisions take provisional effect from May 1, 2017. Where normative documents previously released by the Supreme People's Court differ from these Provisions, they are no longer applied.
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