In a press conference on 30 April, the Supreme People’s Court (the Court) announced that it will more systematically use model (typical) cases (典型案例) to guide the lower courts. The Court is increasingly using model/typical cases. My recent blogpost explains what model cases are, which courts issue them and the authority of model cases.
One of the initiatives the Court highlighted in its October 2013 judicial reform plan is “expanding fully the important role of leading cases and cases for reference.” because its leadership considers model cases an important supplement to legislation, judicial interpretations, and “guiding cases” (a special category of cases so designated by the Court). Mark Cohen, of chinaipr.com, has blogged on the Court’s use of model cases in the area of intellectual property law.
The Court will issue at least five model/typical cases on a monthly basis, selected from cases submitted by the lower courts. The cases can be accessed through the Court’s Cases in Chinese Courts portal. The ones on the website are currently limited to those issued in 2013 and 2014. Unfortunately, a search functions appears lacking. Despite the limitations, it is a further development in the use of case law “with Chinese characteristics.”