The Supreme People's Court (SPC) is the highest judicial organ in China and is responsible to the NPC and its Standing Committee.
It independently exercises the highest judicial right according to the law and without any interruption by administrative organs, social organizations or individuals. Its structure comprises a judicial committee, or the highest judicial organization, and courts or the No.1 Criminal Tribunal, the No.2 Criminal Tribunal, the Civil Tribunal, the Economic Tribunal, the Administrative Tribunal, the Complaint and Appeal Tribunal and the Communication and Transportation Tribunal.
According to the Constitution and statutes, the Supreme People's Court is charged with three responsibilities:
First, trying cases that have the greatest influence in China, hearing appeals against the legal decisions of higher courts, and trying the cases the Supreme People's Court claims are within its original jurisdiction.
Second, supervising the work of local courts and special courts at every level, overruling wrong judgements they might have made, and deciding interrogations and reviewing cases tried by the lower courts.
Third, giving judicial explanations of the specific utilization of laws in the judicial process that must be carried out nationwide.
The president of the Supreme People's Court is elected by the NPC and remains in office for no more than two successive terms with each term of five years. The deputy presidents of the Supreme People's Court, members of the judicial committee, presiding judges of affiliated courts and their deputies, and judicial officers are appointed and recalled by the Standing Committee of the NPC.
The Hierarchy of the Judiciary
Under the Constitution and the Organic Law of the People’s Courts (OLPC), the system of courts in China consists of the Supreme People’s Court, local people’s courts and special people’s courts. The local people’s courts are established in accordance with the administrative divisions, while the special people’s courts are set up where necessary. The following is a chart of the generally four-level court system.
The SPC is the highest trial court in China, and it is also the highest supervising organ over the trial practices of local people’s courts and special people’s courts at various levels, directly responsible to the National People’s Congress (NPC) and its Standing Committee. The SPC includes over 200 justices consisting of the president, vice presidents, presiding judges, vice presiding judges and judges. Since March 1998, the president of the SPC and Chief Grand Justice has been Xiao Yang. The power of appointment and removal of the president, who remains in office for no more than two successive terms with each term of five years, lies with the NPC, while the other justices are appointed and removed by the Standing Committee of the NPC.
Landmark Judgments | Famous Trials | Historical Facts | Legal Profession
Law Maxims # Acta exteriora iudicant interiora secreta - Outward acts indicate the inward intent
# Boni judicis lites dirimere est - It is the duty of a good judge to prevent litigation
# Conventio et modus vincunt legem - A contract and agreement overcome the law
Damnum sine injuria - damage without legal injury.
Ex facie - On the fact of it.
Faciendum - Something which is to be done.
Injuria non excusat injuriam - A wrong does not excuse a wrong.
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