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PRC Laws Posted: 2003-06-03 14:49:51

JUDGES LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA


(Adopted on July 1, 1995)

     CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS

CHAPTER II FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES

CHAPTER III OBLIGATIONS AND RIGHTS

CHAPTER IV QUALIFICATIONS FOR A JUDGE

CHAPTER V APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL

CHAPTER VI POSTS TO BE AVOIDED

CHAPTER VII GRADES OF JUDGES

CHAPTER VIII APPRAISAL

CHAPTER IX TRAINING

CHAPTER X AWARDS

CHAPTER XI PUNISHMENT

CHAPTER XII SALARY, INSURANCE AND WELFARE

CHAPTER XIII RESIGNATION AND DISMISSAL

CHAPTER XIV RETIREMENT

CHAPTER XV PETITION AND COMPLAINT

CHAPTER XVI COMMISSION FOR EXAMINATION AND ASSESSMENT OF JUDGES

CHAPTER XVII SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS

Article 1 This Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution to ensure that the People's Courts independently exercise judicial authority according to law and that judges perform their functions and duties according to law, to enhance the quality of judges, and to realize the scientific administration of judges.

Article 2 Judges are the judicial personnel who exercise the judicial authority of the State according to law, including presidents, vice presidents, members of judicial committees, chief judges and associate chief judges of divisions, judges and assistant judges of the Supreme People's Court, local People's Courts at various levels and special People's Courts such as military courts.

Article 3 Judges must faithfully implement the Constitution and laws, and serve the people whole-heartedly.

Article 4 Judges, when performing their functions and duties according to law, shall be protected by law.

Article 5 The functions and duties of judges are as follows:

(1) to take part in a trial as a member of a collegial panel or to try a case alone according to law; and

(2) to perform other functions and duties as provided by law.

Article 6 Presidents, vice presidents, members of judicial committees, chief judges, associate chief judges of divisions shall, in addition to the judicial functions and duties, perform other functions and duties commensurate with their posts.

CHAPTER III OBLIGATIONS AND RIGHTS

Article 7 Judges shall perform the following obligations:

(1) to strictly observe the Constitution and laws;

(2) to take facts as the basis, and laws as the criterion when trying cases, to handle cases impartially, and not to bend law for personal gain;

(3) to protect the litigation rights of the participants in proceedings according to law;

(4) to safeguard the State interests and public interests, and to safeguard the lawful rights and

interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations;

(5) to be honest and clean, faithful in the discharge of duties, and to abide by discipline;

(6) to keep State secrets and the secrets of judicial work; and

(7) to accept legal supervision and supervision by the masses.

Article 8 Judges shall enjoy the following rights:

(1) to have the power and working conditions which are essential to the performance of functions and duties of judges;

(2) to brook no interference from administrative organs, public organizations or individuals

in trying cases according to law;

(3) to be not removed or demoted from the post or dismissed, and to be not given

a sanction, without statutory basis and without going through statutory procedures;

(4) to be remunerated for work and to enjoy insurance and welfare benefits;

(5) to enjoy the safety of the person, property and residence as ensured by law;

(6) to receive training;

(7) to lodge petitions or complaints; and

(8) to resign their posts.

CHAPTER IV QUALIFICATIONS FOR A JUDGE

Article 9 A judge must possess the following qualifications:

(1) to be of the nationality of the People's Republic of China;

(2) to have reached the age of 23;

(3) to endorse the Constitution of the People's Republic of China;

(4) to have fine political and professional quality and to be good in conduct;

(5) to be in good health; and

(6) to have worked for at least two years in the case of graduates from law specialties of colleges

or universities or from non-law specialties of colleges or universities but possessing the professional knowledge of law; or to have worked for at least one year in the case of Bachelors of Law; those who have Master's Degree of Law or Doctor's Degree of Law may be not subject to the abovementioned requirements for the number of years set for work.

The judicial personnel who do not possess the qualifications as provided by sub-paragraph (6) of the preceding paragraph prior to the implementation of this Law shall receive training so as to meet the qualifications as provided by this Law within a prescribed time limit. The specific measures shall be laid down by the Supreme People's Court.

Article 10 The following persons shall not hold the post of a judge:

(1) to have been subjected to criminal punishment for commission of a crime; or

(2) to have been discharged from public employment.

CHAPTER V APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL

Article 11 A judge shall be appointed or removed from the post in accordance with the limit of authority for, and procedures of, appointment or removal as prescribed by the Constitution and laws.

The President of the Supreme People's Court shall be elected or removed by the National People's Congress. The vice-presidents, members of the judicial committee, chief judges and associate chief judges of divisions and judges shall be appointed or removed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress upon the recommendation of the President of the Supreme People's Court.

The presidents of the local People's Courts at various levels shall be elected or removed by the local People's Congresses at various levels. The vice-presidents, members of the judicial committees, chief judges and associate chief judges of divisions and judges shall be appointed or removed by the standing committees of the people's congresses at the corresponding levels upon the recommendation of the presidents of those courts.

The appointment or removal of the presidents of the intermediate People's Courts set up in prefectures of the provinces or autonomous regions or set up in the municipalities directly under the Central Government shall be decided on by the standing committees of the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government on the basis of the nominations made by the respective councils of chairmen. The vice- presidents, members of the judicial committees, chief judges and associate chief judges of divisions and judges shall be appointed or removed by the standing committees of the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government upon the recommendations of the presidents of the higher People's Courts.

The presidents of the local People's Courts at various levels set up in the national autonomous areas shall be elected or removed by the people's congresses at various levels of the national autonomous areas. The vice-presidents, members of the judicial committees, chief judges and associate chief judges of divisions and judges shall be appointed or removed by the standing committees of the people's congresses at the corresponding levels upon the recommendations of the presidents of those courts.

The assistant judges of the People's Courts shall be appointed or removed by the presidents of the courts where they work.

The measures for the appointment or removal of the presidents, vice- presidents, members of

the judicial committees, chief judges and associate chief judges of divisions and judges of the special People's Courts such as the military courts shall be formulated by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress separately.

Article 12 Persons to be appointed judges or assistant judges for the first time shall be selected through public examination and strict appraisal, from among the best qualified for the post, and in accordance with the standards of having both ability and political integrity.

Persons to be appointed presidents, vice-presidents, members of the judicial committees, chief judges, associate chief judges of divisions shall be selected from among those who are experienced in practical work.

Article 13 If a judge is found to be in any of the following circumstances, a report shall be submitted according to law concerning the removal of his or her post:

(1) having forfeited the nationality of the People's Republic of China;

(2) having been transferred out of this court;

(3) having no need to maintain his or her original post after a change of post;

(4) being determined to be incompetent in the post through appraisal;

(5) being unable to perform the functions and duties of a judge for a long period of time due to poor health;

(6) having retired from the post;

(7) having resigned the post, or having been dismissed;

(8) being disqualified from continuing to hold the post because of violation of discipline, law or commission of a crime; or

(9) other circumstances that call for removal of the post.

Article 14 No judges may concurrently be members of the standing committees of the people's congresses, or hold posts in administrative organs, procuratorial organs, enterprises or institutions, or serve as lawyers.

Article 15 Judges who are connected by husband-wife relationship, or who are directly related by blood, collateral related within three generations, or closely related by marriage may not, at the same time, hold the following posts:

(1) the president, vice-presidents, members of the judicial committee, chief judges or associate chief judges of divisions in the same People's Court;

(2) the president, vice-presidents, judges or assistant judges in the same People's Court;

(3) the chief judge, associate chief judges, judges or assistant judges in the same division; or

(4) presidents or vice-presidents of the People's Courts at the levels next to each other.

Article 16 Judges are divided into twelve grades.

The President of the Supreme People's Court is the Chief Justice. Judges from the second grade to the twelfth grade are composed of associate justices, senior Judges and Judges.

Article 17 Grades of judges shall be determined on the basis of their posts, their actual working ability and political integrity, their professional competence, their achievements in judicial work and their seniority.

Article 18 The grades of judges shall be established and the measures for their evaluation and promotion shall be formulated separately by the State.

Article 19 Appraisal of judges shall be conducted by the People's Courts the judges belong to.

Article 20 The appraisal of judges shall be carried out objectively and impartially, through the combined efforts of the leaders and masses, and routinely and annually.

Article 21 The appraisal of judges shall include their achievements in judicial work, their ideological level and moral characters, their competence in judicial work and their mastery of law theories, their attitude in and style of work. However, emphasis shall be laid on the achievements in judicial work.

Article 22 The results of the annual appraisal shall fall into three grades: excellent, competent and incompetent.

The result of appraisal shall be taken as the basis for award, punishment, training, dismissal of a judge, and for readjustment of his or her grade and salary.

Article 23 A judge shall be informed of the result of the appraisal in written form. If the judge disagrees with the result, he or she may apply for reconsideration.

Article 24 Theoretical and professional training for judges shall be carried out in a planned way.

The principles of integrating theory with practice, giving lectures in light of the needs, and

emphasizing practical results shall be applied in the training of judges.

Article 25 The judges colleges and universities of the State and other institutions for training judges shall, in accordance with the relevant regulations, undertake the task of training judges.

Article 26 The results of the studies of judges and the appraisals made during their training shall be taken as one of the bases for their appointment and promotion.

Article 27 Judges who have made significant achievements and contribu- tions in judicial work, or performed other outstanding deeds shall be rewarded.

The principle of combining moral encouragement with material reward shall be applied in rewarding judges.

Article 28 Judges who have any of the following achievements to their credit shall be rewarded:

(1) having achieved notable successes in enforcing laws and handling cases impartially;

(2) having accumulated rich experience in judicial practice that may serve as a guide in judicial work;

(3) having made proposals for the reform of judicial work that have been adopted and have produced remarkable results;

(4) having performed outstanding deeds in safeguarding the interests of the State, the collective and the people against heavy losses;

(5) having performed outstanding deeds by bravely fighting against illegal or criminal acts;

(6) having made judicial proposals that have been adopted, and have produced remarkable results, or having scored outstanding successes in publicizing the importance of the legal system and guiding the work of the people's mediation committees;

(7) having scored outstanding achievements in protecting State secrets and secrets of judicial work; or

(8) having performed other meritorious deeds.

Article 29 The awards include: Citation for Meritorious Deeds, Merit Citation Class III, Merit Citation Class II, Merit Citation Class I, and a title of honour.

The awards shall be authorized and procedures gone through in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Article 30 No judges may commit any of the following acts:

(1) to spread statements damaging the prestige of the State; to join illegal organizations; to take part in such activities as assembly, procession and demonstration against the State; and to participate in strikes;

(2) to embezzle money or accept bribes;

(3) to bend law for personal gain;

(4) to extort confessions by torture;

(5) to conceal or falsify evidence;

(6) to divulge State secrets or secrets of judicial work;

(7) to abuse functions and powers; and to infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons or other organizations;

(8) to neglect his or her duty so as to wrongly judge a case or to cause heavy losses to the party concerned;

(9) to intentionally delay the handling of a case so as to affect the work adversely;

(10) to take advantage of the functions and powers to seek gain for himself or herself or other people;

(11) to engage in profit-making activities;

(12) to meet the party concerned or his or her agent without authorization and attend dinners or accept presents given by the party concerned or his or her agent; or

(13) to commit other acts in violation of law or discipline.

Article 31 A judge who has committed any of the acts listed in Article 30 of this Law shall be given sanctions; if the case constitutes a crime, he or she shall be investigated for criminal responsibility.

Article 32 Sanctions include a disciplinary warning, a demerit recorded, a grave demerit recorded, demotion, dismissal from the post and discharge from public employment.

The salary of a judge who has been dismissed from the post shall at the same time be reduced and his or her grade be demoted.

Article 33 A sanction shall be authorized and procedures gone through in accordance with the relevant regulations

CHAPTER XII SALARY, INSURANCE AND WELFARE

Article 34 The salary system and scales for judges shall, in light of the characteristics of judicial work, be formulated by the State.

Article 35 The system under which the salaries of judges are increased regularly shall be practised. The salary of a judge who has been confirmed through appraisal as being excellent or competent may be raised in accordance with the regulations; the salary of a judge who has made special contributions may be raised in advance in accordance with regulations.

Article 36 Judges shall enjoy judicial allowances, regional allowances and other allowances and insurance and welfare benefits as prescribed by the State.

CHAPTER XIII RESIGNATION AND DISMISSAL

Article 37 If a judge requests resignation, he or she shall present an application in written form before he or she shall be removed in accordance with the procedures as provided by law.

Article 38 A judge may be dismissed if he or she is found to be in any of the following

circumstances:

(1) to be confirmed by annual appraisal as being incompetent for two successive years;

(2) to be unqualified for the present post and decline to accept other assignments;

(3) to refuse to accept reasonable transfer, which is necessitated by restructuring of the judicial organ or reduction of the size of the staff;

(4) to have stayed away from work without leave or to have overstayed his or her leave for fifteen days or more in succession, or for thirty days or more in a year aggregated; or

(5) to fail to perform a judge's duty, and make no rectification after criticism.

Article 39 A judge who is dismissed shall be removed from the post in cordance with the procedures as provided by law.

Article 40 The retirement system regarding judges shall, in light of the characteristics of judicial work, be formulated separately by the State.

Article 41 After retirement judges shall enjoy the insurance of oldage pension and other benefits as prescribed by the State.

CHAPTER XV PETITION AND COMPLAINT

Article 42 If a judge disagrees with the sanction given to him or her by a People's Court, he or she may, within thirty days from the date of receiving the decision on the sanction, apply for reconsideration to the organ which handled the case and shall have the right to appeal to the organ at a level higher than the organ which handled the case.

The organ that receives the appeal must make a decision on it in accordance with regulations.

Execution of a decision on a sanction given to a judge shall not be suspended during the period of reconsideration or petition.

Article 43 If a State organ or any of its functionaries commits an act infringing upon the rights of a judge as provided by Article 8 of this Law, the judge shall have the right to make a complaint.

If an administrative organ, a public organization or an individual interferes in a case that a judge is trying according to law, that organ, organization or individual shall be investigated for responsibility according to law.

Article 44 The petition or complaint made by a judge shall be true to facts. If a judge makes up a story or lodges a false accusation against an innocent person, he or she shall be investigated for responsibility according to law.

Article 45 Where a sanction given to a judge is wrong, it shall be put right without delay; if it has damaged the judge's reputation, the reputation shall be rehabilitated, the ill effects shall be eliminated and an apology shall be made; if it has caused financial losses to the judge, compensations shall be made. The persons who are directly responsible for retaliation shall be investigated for responsibility according to law.

CHAPTER XVI COMMISSION FOR EXAMINATION AND ASSESSMENT OF JUDGES

Article 46 A People's Court shall establish a commission for examination and assessment of judges.

The functions and duties of a commission for examination and assessment of judges are to guide the training, examination, appraisal and assessment of judges. Specific measures therefor shall be formulated separately.

The commission for examination and assessment of judges of the Supreme People's Court shall, in accordance with the provisions of Article 12 of this Law, organize unified national examination for judges and assistant judges to be appointed as such for the first time.

Article 47 The number of persons on a commission for examination and assessment of judges shall be five to nine.

The chairman of a commission for examination and assessment of judges shall be assumed by the president of the court it belongs to.

CHAPTER XVII SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS

Article 48 The executors of the People's Courts shall be administered with reference to the relevant provisions of this Law.

Measures for the administration of the clerks of the People's Courts shall be formulated by the Supreme People's Court.

The administrative judicial personnel of the People's Courts shall be administered in accordance with the relevant regulations of the State.

Article 49 This Law shall come into force as of July 1, 1995.