Supreme People's Court

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Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
Zuìgāo Rénmín Fǎyuàn
Supreme People's Court of P.R.China's badge.svg
Emblem of the People's Court of the People's Republic of China
Established September 1954
Country People's Republic of China
Location Beijing
Composition method Presidential selection with National People's Congress approval
Authorized by Constitution of the People's Republic of China
Judge term length 5 years
President and Chief Justice
Currently Zhou Qiang
Since 15 March 2013
Executive Vice President
Currently Shen Deyong
Since March 2008
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.svg
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The main gate of the Supreme People's Court in Beijing.
The front facade of the Supreme People's Court in Beijing China.

The Supreme People's Court (Chinese: 最高人民法院; pinyin: Zuìgāo Rénmín Fǎyuàn) is the highest court in the mainland area of the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong and Macau, as special administrative regions, have their own separate judicial systems based on British common law traditions and Portuguese civil-law traditions respectively, and are out of the jurisdiction of the Supreme People's Court.

The court includes over 340 judges which meet in smaller tribunals to decide cases.

Since March 2013, the President of the Supreme People's Court and Chief Grand Justice has been Zhou Qiang.

The SPC trial process consists of a four level, two-hearing system.



In 2005, the Supreme People's Court announced its intent to "[take] back authority for death penalty approval" over concerns about “sentencing quality”,[1] and the National People's Congress officially changed the Organic Law on the People's Courts requiring all death sentences to be approved by the Supreme People's Court on 31 October 2006.[2] It has been reported that since the new review process, the court has rejected 15 percent of the death sentences decided by lower courts.[3]

Organisational Structure

Courts of the SPC:

  • criminal
  • civil
  • economic
  • administrative trials
  • other courts set up according to actual needs

Departments within the SPC:

  • research office
  • general affairs office
  • personnel department
  • judicial affairs department
  • administrative affairs department
  • office affairs bureau
  • foreign affairs bureau
  • education department

Circuit courts:

Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Court

  1. 1949 - 1954: Supreme People's Court of the Central People's Government
  2. 1954 - 1959: Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China under the 1st National People's Congress
  3. 1959 - 1965: 2nd National People's Congress
  4. 1965 - 1975: 3rd National People's Congress
  5. 1975 - 1978: 4th National People's Congress
  6. 1978 - 1983: 5th National People's Congress
  7. 1983 - 1988: 6th National People's Congress
  8. 1988 - 1993: 7th National People's Congress
  9. 1993 - 1998: 8th National People's Congress
  10. 1998 - 2003: 9th National People's Congress
  11. 2003 - 2007: 10th National People's Congress
  12. 2008 - 2013: 11th National People's Congress
  13. 2013 - present: 12th National People's Congress

See also


  1. Dickie, Mure (2005-10-27). "China's top court to review all death sentences". Financial Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "China changes law to limit death sentence". China Daily. 2006-10-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Bodeen, Christopher (2008-04-10). "China Hails Reform of Death Penalty". San Francisco Chronicle.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. First Circuit Court of the Supreme People's Court established
  5. Second Circuit established

External links

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