Chapter I General ProvisionsEdit
This Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution to advance the cultivation of high-caliber judges, strengthen the management and supervision over them; safeguard their legitimate rights and interests; ensure that people's courts independently exercise their judicial power in accordance with the law and that judges legally perform their functions and duties, and safeguard justice.
Judges refer to members of the judiciary who exercise state judicial power in accordance with the law, including the presidents, vice presidents, adjudication committee members, and chief judges and associate chief judges of court divisions, and the judges of the Supreme People's Court, all local people's courts, and special people's courts such as military courts.
Judges shall observe the Constitution and laws, safeguard social fairness and justice and be devoted to serving the people.
Judges shall treat the parties and other participants in the proceedings fairly, and be equal in the application of the law to all individuals and organizations.
Judges shall stay diligent, honest, and clean, and live by professional ethics.
Judges shall perform their duties objectively and impartially on the basis of facts and law.
Judges shall be protected by law, and brook no interference from administrative bodies, social groups or individuals when performing their duties in accordance with the law.
Chapter II Duties, Obligations, and RightsEdit
(1) To participate in collegiate panels or act as the sole judge to try criminal, civil, administrative, or State compensation cases, or other cases in accordance with the law;
(2) To handle extradition, judicial assistance or other cases in accordance with the law; and
(3) To perform other duties provided for by law.
Judges shall be accountable for the cases they handled within the scope of their authority.
The presidents, vice presidents and adjudication committee members of people's court, chief judges and associate chief judges of court divisions, shall, in addition to performing their duties as judges, also perform the duties appropriate to their positions.
Judges have the following duties:
(1) To strictly observe the Constitution and laws;
(2) To handle cases impartially and not to bend the law for personal gain;
(3) To protect the procedural rights of the parties involved and other participants in the proceedings in accordance with the law;
(4) To safeguard the interests of the State and the public, and the lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations;
(5) To protect State and judicial secrets as well as the trade secrets and personal private information learned of in the performance of duties;
(6) To accept legal and public oversight in accordance with the law;
(7) To raise public awareness of the rule of law and promote a rule-of-law society by handling cases in accordance with the law and interpreting the laws involved in cases; and
(8) To perform other duties provided by law.
Judges shall enjoy the following rights:
(1) To have the power and working conditions essential to the performance of their duties;
(2) Not to be transferred, removed, demoted, dismissed, or sanctioned without legally recognized causes or without going through statutory procedures;
(3) To enjoy professional guarantee, welfare and benefits from the performance of duties;
(4) To enjoy personal safety and safety of the property and residence as ensured by law;
(5) To lodge petitions or complaints; and
(6) To enjoy other rights provided by law.
Chapter III Requirements and SelectionEdit
Judges shall meet the following requirements:
(1) Having the nationality of the People's Republic of China;
(2) Upholding the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the socialist system;
(3) Having political integrity, professional competence, and decent ethics;
(4) Being physically fit to perform their duties;
(5) Having an undergraduate diploma in law and a Bachelor of Laws or a higher degree in law from a college or university; having an undergraduate diploma or above in non-law specialties from a college or university as well as having received master's degree in law or jurisprudence or above; or having an undergraduate diploma or above in non-law specialties from a college or university as well as having an relevant degree and professional knowledge of law;
(6) Having engaged in legal work for five years. Of these, the number of years engaging in legal work may be shortened to four or three years respectively for those who have obtained a masters in law or jurisprudence, or obtained an LL.D; and
(7) Judges serving their first post shall have passed the national uniform legal professional qualification examination and obtained the legal professional credentials.
In areas where there are real difficulties for the academic requirements specified in Subparagraph (5) of the preceding paragraph to be met, upon review and confirmation by the Supreme People's Court, the academic requirements for judges may be relaxed for a period of time to include bachelor's degrees from universities.
The following persons shall not serve as judges:
(1) Those who have been subjected to criminal punishment for committing a crime;
(2) Those who have been discharged from public office;
(3) Those whose certificates for practice as a lawyer or notary public have been revoked, or have been removed from an arbitration commission; and
(4) Those with other circumstances provided for by law.
New judges are selected by means of both tests and evaluations and in accordance with the criteria of both ability and integrity, and from those with the qualifications for becoming judges.
Presidents of people's courts shall possess legal knowledge and legal practice experience. Vice presidents and adjudication committee members shall be selected from among judges, procurators, or others with qualifications to be judges.
As necessary for adjudicative work, people's courts may openly select judges from the legal professionals, such as lawyers, and educators and researchers of law.
In addition to having the qualifications for serving as judges, lawyers participating in the aforementioned open selection shall have at least five years in actual practice, have rich practice experience, and have a good reputation; educators and researchers of law participating in the open selection shall have an intermediate-level professional title or higher and have been engaged in teaching or research for at least five years, with outstanding capacity for research and corresponding research accomplishments.
Provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government shall establish judge selection committees, responsible for reviewing the professional competence of new judge candidates.
Members of a provincial-level judge selection committee shall include judges of local people's courts at all levels, other members of the legal profession, and representatives of relevant parties, of whom not less than one third shall be judges.
The routine work of a provincial-level judge selection committee shall be undertaken by an office established within the provincial-level people's court.
A Supreme People's Court Judge Selection Committee shall be established for the selection of Supreme People's Court judges, responsible for reviewing the professional competence of the judge candidates.
New judges shall generally serve in the primary-level people's court. Judges of a people's court at a higher level shall usually be selected from the people's courts at the next lower level. Judges of the Supreme People's Court and a higher people's court may be selected from the people's courts at the next two lower levels. Judges participating in the judge selection of higher-level people's courts shall have served a number of years in the lower-level people's court, and have work experience corresponding to the new post.
Chapter IV Appointment and RemovalEdit
The appointment and removal of judges shall be handled in accordance with the scope of appointment and removal authority and procedures provided for by the Constitution and laws.
The President of the Supreme People's Court shall be elected or removed by the National People's Congress; its vice presidents, adjudication committee members, and the chief judges and associate chief judges of its court divisions shall be appointed or removed by request of the President to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
The presiding presidents and vice presiding presidents of the circuit courts of the Supreme People's Court shall be appointed or removed by request of the president to the standing committee of the people's congress at that level.
The presidents of each level of local people's courts shall be elected or removed by the people's congress at the same level, and the vice presidents, adjudication committee members, and the chief judges and associate chief judges of their court divisions shall be appointed or removed by request of the presidents to the standing committee of the people's congress at that level.
The president of an intermediate people's court established in a province by region or in an autonomous region or a municipality directly under the central government shall be appointed or removed by the standing committee of the people's congress of the province, autonomous region or municipalities directly under the central government upon nomination by the chairman's council of the said people's congress, and the vice presidents, adjudication committee members, chief judges and associate chief judges of its court divisions shall be appointed or removed by request of the president of the higher people's court to the standing committee of the people's congress of the province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the central government.
The presidents, vice presidents, adjudication committee members, chief judges and associate chief judges of court divisions, and judges, of the people's courts of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and specialized people's courts at all levels shall be appointed and removed in accordance with relevant provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
After judges are selected in accordance with the statutory procedure, they shall take a constitutional oath publicly when taking office.
Where a judge has any of the following circumstances, a proposal shall be made to request his removal from the judge's post in accordance with the law:
(1) Where he has forfeited the nationality of the People's Republic of China;
(2) Where he has been transferred out of the people's court where he held a position;
(3) Where changes in his position does not require him to retain the position of judge, or he personally requests to be removed from a position as judge and it is approved;
(4) Where he is evaluated as unable to successfully serve as a judge;
(5) Where he cannot perform his duties for a long time due to illness;
(6) Where he retires;
(7) Where he resigns or should be discharged in accordance with the law; or
(8) Where he is unsuited to hold office due to a violation of disciplinary standards or laws.
Where a judge is found to have been appointed in violation of the conditions provided by this Law, the organ that appointed him shall revoke the appointment. Where the people's court at a higher level finds that the appointment of a judge of the people's court at a lower level violates the conditions provided by this Law, it shall require the people's court at the lower level to submit a request to the appointing organ for revoking the appointment in accordance with the law.
Judges shall not concurrently serve as members of the standing committees of people's congresses, hold posts in administrative, supervisory or adjudicative organs, enterprises, or other for-profit organizations or public institutions, or serve as lawyers, arbitrators, or notaries public.
Judges who are connected by husband-wife relationship, lineal consanguinity, collateral consanguinity within three generations, or close affinity, shall not assume the following posts at the same time:
(1) The president, vice presidents, adjudication committee members, or chief judges or associate chief judges of court divisions, at the same people's court;
(2) The president, vice presidents, or judges at the same people's court;
(3) The presiding president, vice presiding presidents, or judges at the same court division; or
(4) The president or vice presidents of people's courts at the levels next to each other.
Where a judge's spouse, parent or child falls under any of the following circumstances, he or she shall recuse himself or herself:
(1) Serving as a partner or founder of a law firm within the jurisdiction of the people's court at which the judge works; or
(2) Serving as an agent ad litem or defender in the capacity of a lawyer, or providing other paid legal services to parties in a lawsuit, within the jurisdiction of the people's court at which the judge works.
Chapter V ManagementEdit
Judges shall be subjected to personnel ration management. The staff quota of judges is determined based on the number of cases, the level of economic and social development, the population, and the level of people's courts. Total staffing control and dynamic management shall be implemented in provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government, whilst top priority be given to the case handling needs of the primary-level people's courts and the people's courts with big caseloads handling.
Judge post vacancies shall be filled in accordance with procedures in a timely manner.
The number of the judge posts of the Supreme People's Court shall be determined by the Supreme People's Court in consultation with the relevant departments.
Judges shall be subject to a separate ranking system.
Judges shall be divided into 12 grades, which, in the order of seniority, are Chief Justice, Class I Justice, Class II Justice, Class I Senior Judge, Class II Senior Judge, Class III Senior Judge, Class IV Senior Judge, Class I Judge, Class II Judges, Class III Judge, Class IV Judge and Class V Judge.
The President of the Supreme People's Court shall be the Chief Justice.
The grades of judges shall be determined based on their ethical integrity, professional competence, practical work performance, and seniority.
Judges shall have regular promotions and selective promotions, and those handling frontline cases who excel or are indispensable may have selective promotions.
The State shall separately provide the measures for establishing and determining judges' grades and the measures for judges' promotion.
New judges shall be given pre-service training.
Political, 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 judge training.
The training results of judges shall be a basis for their appointment and promotion.
Judge training institutions shall undertake the task of training judges in accordance with relevant regulations.
Where a judge applies for resignation, he shall present an application in written form. After the application is approved, he shall be removed from his post in accordance with the procedure provided by law.
A judge shall be removed from office in accordance with the procedure provided by law.
The dismissal of a judge shall be decided in accordance with the administrative authority, and the decision shall be delivered in writing to the judge in question with the reasons and grounds for the dismissal specified therein.
A judge shall not act as an agent ad litem or a defender in the capacity of a lawyer within two years of leaving his post at a people's court.
After leaving his post at a people's court, a judge shall not act as an agent ad litem or defender in the cases handled by that people's court, except for acting as the representative in a lawsuit, or defending a case, as the guardian or close relative of the party concerned.
After being dismissed, a judge shall not act as an agent ad litem or defender, except for acting as the representative in a lawsuit, or defending a case, as the guardian or close relative of the party concerned.
To meet the need of his work, and upon the appointment or approval of the people's court he works for, a judge may assist in practical teaching and research work in institutions of higher learning or research institutes in compliance with relevant State regulations.
Chapter VI Appraisal, Awards, and Disciplinary ActionsEdit
A people's court shall establish a judge appraisal board to take charge of the appraisal of its judges.
A judge appraisal board shall have five to nine members.
The president of a people's court shall be the chairperson of the judge appraisal board.
Appraisal of judges shall be thorough, objective and impartial and be carried out on a routine and annual basis.
Appraisal of judges include their practical work performance, professional ethics, professional competence, working ability and conduct. Emphasis shall be laid on practical work performance.
Annual appraisal results shall consist of four grades: excellent, competent, basically competent, and incompetent.
A judge's appraisal result shall be the basis of grade and salary adjustment and the giving of award, punishment, removal, demotion, or dismissal.
A judge's appraisal result shall be delivered to him in writing. Where the judge disagrees with the results, he may apply for a review.
The judges who have made significant achievements and contributions in their work, or performed other outstanding deeds shall be awarded.
The judges who have any of the following achievements to their credit shall be awarded:
(1) Having made notable achievements in enforcing laws impartially;
(2) Having gained outstanding practical work experience, which can be a good guide to judicial work;
(3) Having made remarkable contributions to and achievements in handling of major cases or emergencies, or undertaking special, important tasks;
(4) Having made proposals for judicial reform, which have been adopted with remarkable results;
(5) Having made judicial proposals that have been adopted or having promoted the rule of law and resolved disputes with remarkable results; or
(6) Having performed other meritorious deeds.
Awards shall be granted to judges in accordance with relevant regulations.
A judge who has committed any of the following acts shall be given sanctions. Where the case constitutes a crime, he shall be investigated for criminal responsibility.
(1) Having engaged in embezzlement, accepted bribes, practiced favoritism, or perverting the course of justice;
(2) Having concealed, falsified, altered, or intentionally damaged evidence or case documents;
(3) Having divulged State secrets, judicial secrets, trade secrets or personal privacy;
(4) Having intentionally violated laws and regulations in handling cases;
(5) Having wrongly handled a case and caused heavy losses due to gross negligence;
(6) Having delayed the handling of a case and affected work adversely;
(7) Having abused his powers to seek personal gain for himself or for others;
(8) Having accepted the illegal transfer of interests from a party or the party's agent, or met with a party or the party's agent in violation of relevant regulations;
(9) Having engaged or participated in for-profit activities in violation of relevant regulations or concurrently holding posts in enterprises or other for-profit organizations; or
(10) Having committed other acts in violation of disciplines or laws.
The sanction of a judge shall be imposed in accordance with relevant regulations.
Where a judge is not fit to continue work because he is suspected of violating disciplines or laws and has been placed on file for investigation, he shall be suspended from work in accordance with the administrative authority and prescribed procedures.
The Supreme People's Court and the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government shall set up judge disciplinary boards, which are dedicated to investigating and identifying in terms of professionalism the violations of the judicial duties as prescribed in Subparagraphs(4) and (5) in Article 46 of this Law, and render decisions such as intentional breach of duties, gross negligence, ordinary negligence or no breach of duties. After a judge disciplinary board renders a decision, the people's court shall, in accordance with relevant provisions, decide on whether or not to impose punishment and deal with the matter accordingly.
A judge disciplinary board shall be composed of judges, other members of the legal profession, and representatives of relevant parties, at least half of whom shall be judges.
The daily work of the judge disciplinary board of the Supreme People's Court and the provincial-level judge disciplinary boards shall be undertaken by the internal functional departments of relevant people's courts.
When a judge disciplinary board reviews disciplinary matters, the judge in question is entitled to apply for the interested persons recusing themselves, and to make statements, provide evidence and defend himself.
The decision rendered by a judge disciplinary board shall be delivered to the judge concerned. Where the judge in question disagrees with the decision, he may voice his objection to the judge disciplinary board, which shall review the objection and the reasons thereof, and make a decision.
The specific procedure by which the judge disciplinary boards review disciplinary matters shall be determined by the Supreme People's Court in consultation with the relevant departments.
Chapter VII Professional GuaranteeEdit
People's courts shall set up boards to protect the legitimate rights and interests of their judges, and ensure that they perform their duties in accordance with the law.
A judge shall not be transferred from his judicial post, except in the following circumstances:
(1) Where he needs to recuse himself from the post in accordance with regulations;
(2) Where he is transferred to another post in accordance with regulations;
(3) Where adjustment of his post is required where his institution is restructured, abolished, or merged, or cuts its staffing and number of judges;
(4) Where he is unfit for a judicial post due to violation of disciplines or laws; and
(5) Where other circumstances provided by law occur.
No entity or individual shall require judges to engage in any matter beyond the scope of their statutory functions and duties hereof.
The judges shall be entitled to refuse and fully and truthfully record and report any act that interferes with their handling of cases; in case of any violation of disciplines or laws, relevant authorities shall, in light of the seriousness of the case, hold the relevant persons accountable.
The professional dignity and personal safety of judges is protected by law.
No entity or individual shall retaliate against judges or their close relatives.
Severe punishment shall be imposed upon unlawful and criminal acts against judges or their close relatives in accordance with the law, such as retaliation or making false charges, or insults and slander, use of violence, threats and intimidation, or provocation or harassment .
Where the reputation of a judge is damaged due to false reports, false accusation, defamation or slander for performing his duties in accordance with the law, the people's court shall, in conjunction with relevant departments, promptly clarify facts, eliminate the negative impact, and hold the relevant entities or individuals accountable in accordance with the law.
Where the personal safety of a judge or his or her close relatives is at risk due to performance of his or her duties in accordance with the law, the people's court or public security organ shall take necessary measures such as to protect the personal safety of the judge and his close relatives, and to prohibit certain persons from approaching them.
Judges shall be subject to a salary system in which they receive salaries and benefits commensurate with their duties and based on their grades, as are provided by the State, and have salary increases in step with those of civil servants.
The salary system for judges shall be established by the State based on the characteristics of judicial work.
Judges shall receive salary increases on a regular basis.
The salary of a judge may be raised in accordance with regulations who has been confirmed through annual appraisal as being excellent or competent.
Judges are entitled to subsidies, allowances, bonuses, insurance benefits, and other forms of benefits as prescribed by the State.
Where a judge becomes disabled in line of duty, he shall enjoy the benefits provided by the State for the disabled. Where a judge died on duty or of illness, his relatives shall enjoy the pension and other benefits from the State.
The retirement system for judges shall be established by the State based on the characteristics of judicial work.
Retired judges are entitled to the pension and other benefits provided by the State.
A judge has the right to make a complaint against an act of a State organ or any of its functionaries commits infringing upon the judges' rights specified in Article 11 of this Law.
Where a sanction or personnel-related decision is wrongly imposed upon a judge, corrections shall be made without delay. Where the judge's reputation has been damaged thereby, his reputation shall be rehabilitated, the ill effects shall be eliminated, and an apology shall be made; where financial losses are caused to the judge, compensation shall be made. The persons who are directly responsible for retaliation shall be held accountable in accordance with the law.
Chapter VIII Supplementary ProvisionsEdit
The State implements a uniform legal professional qualification examination system for new judges, which is organized and implemented by the judicial administrative department under the State Council in consultation with the Supreme People's Court and other relevant departments.
Judges' assistants of people's courts shall be responsible for judicial support matters, such as examination of case materials and drafting of legal documents, under the guidance of judges.
People's courts shall strengthen the cultivation of judges' assistants, for the purpose of selecting talent for judges.
Where this Law already provides for the rights, obligations, and administration systems for judges, the provisions of this Law shall apply; in the absence of any provisions in this Law, the relevant laws and regulations on the administration of civil servants shall apply.
This Law shall come into force as of October 1, 2019.