The Supreme People’s Court recently released a list of major research topics for 2020, providing interesting insight into the courts’ priorities moving forward. Susan Finder, an unparalleled expert on China’s courts and operator of the Supreme People’s Court Monitor website was kind enough to join me in making a few notes on the research plan to put it in context for those less familiar.
If this is the sort of thing you’d like to see more of, let us know!
1. Research on strengthening the people's courts' political and cultural construction in the new era
- Clearing up 'typical erroneous views and political traps of western ideology' in the justice sector such as 'constitutionalism', 'separation of powers' and 'judicial independence
- Absolute leadership of the Party
- Cultivation of socialist rule of law.
2. Research on providing judicial service safeguards for the overall advancement of epidemic prevention and control and for economic and social development
- Analyzing experiences and new problems in epidemic-related cases.
- Ensuring that epidemic and reopening efforts are conducted lawfully.
3. Research on judicial protections for the rights and interests of women, children and the elderly
- Helping ensure recovery of support and alimony payments
- Protection of left-behind children
- Research into the impact and problems with family law trial procedures.
4. Research on the modernization of capacity for Internet judicial governance
5. Research on Issues in people's courts' mechanisms for the Uniform Application of Law
- improving procedures and rules for adjudication (judicial) committees
- exploring the establishment of multiple levels and types of professional judges conferences
- Improving guiding cases system for case-handling by local courts.
6. Research on standards of evidence and litigation procedures for cases of endangering national security
- Elements and standard of proof for establishing national security violations
- Technical issues such as the scope jurisdiction, determinations of information secrecy levels, intelligence
- procedural issues such as the use of plea leniency and trial by absentia systems
7. Research questions about mental health evaluations and the implementation of death sentences
- Understanding the current situation of capital punishment and mental health evaluations, including delusions due to drug use
- Considering the use of the death penalty for those with reduced capacity
8. Research on difficult issues of judicial application for information network crimes
- Current trends in cybercrimes
- Charges used in black and grey industry chain; charges for theft from e-wallets
- Liability for 'captcha platforms'.
- Procedural issues such as use of digital evidence, jurisdiction for online crime, etc.
9. Research on Issues in the application of the Civil Code
- systematic clean up of authority and practice experience to link old and new civil law
- revising or abolishing judicial interpretations to reflect new or heavily modified civil law provisions
10. Research on legal issues in trial of business trust disputes
- Clarifying the elements for establishment and validity of trust contracts
- Scope of assets that can comprise a trust
- Shareholder liability where shares are a trust asset, vs. normal liability
- Standards for determining whether trustees have fulfilled their fiduciary duties, and standards for their compensation.
11. Research on Issues of Chinese judicial jurisdiction over intellectual property disputes involving foreign interests
- Explore the use of anti-suit injunctions, suits for confirmation of rights, etc.
- Preserving the courts' sovereignty and jurisdiction
12. Research on the operating mechanisms for China's International Commercial Court
- Understand challenges and progress in the CICC
- Understanding trends in foreign international commercial courts.
13. Research on mechanisms for governing administrative sources of litigation
- Improving cooperation between judicial and administrative bodies
- work to more efficiently respond to administrative disputes involved in litigation
- strengthen dispute resolution led by the administrative organs outside of litigation
14. Research on rules for electronic proceedings in the Internet era
- Basic principles for online litigation
- Rules for online filing, trial, and electronic service
- Standards for validity of service and online judgments