Supreme People’s Court wields the Criminal Law “Big Stick” in the Anti-Coronavirus Battle

As this blog has often commented, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) must serve the greater situation and deal with practical legal issues, so that the SPC itself and its senior leadership are correct, politically and professionally. One of those ways is by providing properly calibrated guidance to subordinates at the SPC, the lower courts and … Continue reading Supreme People’s Court wields the Criminal Law “Big Stick” in the Anti-Coronavirus Battle

Supreme People’s Court updates its Belt & Road policies

At a press conference on 27 December (2019) the Supreme People’s Court’s (SPC) #4 Civil Division (the division focusing on cross-border commercial issues) announced it had issued three documents: a judicial interpretation and two judicial policy documents. The documents are connected directly or indirectly to the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and improving China’s foreign … Continue reading Supreme People’s Court updates its Belt & Road policies

The National Civil Commercial Trial Work Conference Draft Conference Summary or how the SPC guides the lower courts through issuing conference summaries

  In early August, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued the National Civil Commercial Trial Work Conference Conference Summary (Draft of the SPC #2 Civil Division for the Solicitation of Opinions from the Public) 全国法院民商事审判工作会议纪要 (最高人民法院民二庭向社会公开征求意见稿. The draft, which sets a comment deadline of 25 August and includes a brief (but useful) introduction, provides a … Continue reading The National Civil Commercial Trial Work Conference Draft Conference Summary or how the SPC guides the lower courts through issuing conference summaries

What does the Supreme People’s Court’s new judicial transparency policy mean?

In late November (2018), the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued its latest transparency policy. The question is, after reading past the references to the 19th Party Congress and the ideology guiding this document, is what, if anything new does it require of the lower courts (and of itself)? And why? Decoding this document (Supreme People’s Court … Continue reading What does the Supreme People’s Court’s new judicial transparency policy mean?

What to Expect in the Fifth Round of Judicial Reforms

On July 24, the Chinese authorities held the first post-19th Party Congress national conference  on judicial reform in Shenzhen, entitled “Promoting Comprehensive Deepening of Judicial Reform.”  Holding the conference in Shenzhen is significant, because it is considered synonymous with reform and openness. The leaders on the podium in the photo above (members of the Leading … Continue reading What to Expect in the Fifth Round of Judicial Reforms

What’s on the Supreme People’s Court’s judicial interpretation agenda (I)?

The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has a yearly plan for drafting judicial interpretations, as set out in its 2007 regulations on judicial interpretation work  (I have not been able to locate a free translation, unfortunately), analogous to the National People’s Congress (NPC) and its legislative plans.  Judicial interpretations, for those new to this blog, are binding … Continue reading What’s on the Supreme People’s Court’s judicial interpretation agenda (I)?

Public-Private Partnership Disputes in the Chinese courts

A team of researchers from the Jiangsu Higher People’s Court #1 Civil Division recently published an article on difficult legal issues relating to public-private partnerships (literally government/social capital cooperation) (PPP) in the Journal of Law Application (the Journal) (法律适用), # 17, 2017.  The Journal is one of China’s core legal journals (among the most prestigious academic law … Continue reading Public-Private Partnership Disputes in the Chinese courts

Supreme People’s Court ramps up its judicial responsibility system

In April of this year (2017), the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued its judicial responsibility guidelines.  At the end of July, the SPC issued a 73 article implementing opinion (最高人民法院司法责任制实施意见(试行)(Implementing Opinion), which went into effect on 1 August 2017.  There have been many summary reports in the legal press, but the full text was not found … Continue reading Supreme People’s Court ramps up its judicial responsibility system

China’s Evolving Case Law System In Practice

I recently published an article in the Tsinghua China Law Review on Chinese case law in practice, building on several blogposts I had previously written and articles by fellow bloggers Jeremy Daum and Mark Cohen.  Many thanks are due to the persons who shared their experience and observations with me. A special thank you is … Continue reading China’s Evolving Case Law System In Practice

How the Supreme People’s Court serves major government strategies

In the past year, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has issued several policy documents that contain the same phrase: serve the nation’s major strategy (服务国家重大战略).  When SPC President Zhou Qiang gave his report to the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March, 2016, one section addressed this topic. Provided service for the country’s major strategies.  Issued … Continue reading How the Supreme People’s Court serves major government strategies

Bulking up the Chinese maritime courts

The South China Sea continues to be in the news. But one of the many unnoticed developments related to the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) and the Chinese seas is the recent “bulking up” of the Chinese maritime courts. The Chinese maritime courts, established 30 years ago, are said to be the busiest in the Asia … Continue reading Bulking up the Chinese maritime courts

Judge Xi Xiaoming and his vanishing assets

Although Chinese judicial reforms include establishing a trial-centered judicial system that provides better protection for human rights (including property rights), under Party disciplinary regulations senior Party officials (such as former Supreme People’s Court Vice President Xi Xiaoming, subject of an earlier blogpost),  often have property confiscated or other property punishments imposed at the conclusion of … Continue reading Judge Xi Xiaoming and his vanishing assets

Supreme People’s Court and its normative documents

This blogpost discusses some of the documents that the Supreme People’s Court (Court) issues and what they mean, particularly to foreign legal professionals who may encounter them in practice. They reflect the bureaucratic way the Court operate (about which I (and others) have written). It is not a complete list, but a description of some … Continue reading Supreme People’s Court and its normative documents

Supreme People’s Court’s Judicial Transparency White Paper

In March, 2015, the Supreme People’s Court (the Court) issued Judicial Transparency in Chinese Courts, its bilingual white paper on judicial transparency (a note for those who don’t know Chinese that the two language versions are not entirely identical, and the English version could have benefited from some polishing). The paper begins (both in Chinese … Continue reading Supreme People’s Court’s Judicial Transparency White Paper

Open government information litigation in China–an oxymoron?

To show that open government information litigation in China is not an oxymoron, and send messages to the lower courts, government, and public,  the Supreme People’s Court (Court)  in a  press conference on 12 September, released statistics and typical open government information cases brought under China’s version of the US’s Freedom of Information Act (and its counterparts … Continue reading Open government information litigation in China–an oxymoron?

The Supreme People’s Court 2013 Judicial Reform Opinion: A Flash Analysis (Part 1)

On 29 October 2013 the Supreme People’s Court (the Court) released Several Opinions Regarding the Actual Practice of Justice for the People, Vigorously Strengthening a Fair Judiciary and Continuously Increasing Judicial Credibility (关于切实践行司法为民大力加强公正司法不断提高司法公信力的若干意见)  ( 2013 Judicial Reform Opinion).  It is an immediate call for action by the Court leadership, who see this as a unique … Continue reading The Supreme People’s Court 2013 Judicial Reform Opinion: A Flash Analysis (Part 1)

The Supreme People’s Court: Interpretations of Law as a form of Official Document (公文)

This post explains why: the Supreme People’s Court (Court) releases normative documents  inconsistent with the law and its own definition of “judicial interpretations;” the Court issues normative documents that guide the judiciary in deciding cases but that are not publicly released; the Court issues normative documents with government organs that are not authorized to issue … Continue reading The Supreme People’s Court: Interpretations of Law as a form of Official Document (公文)