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SPC Sets Rules for Collegial Panel Operation

Tue, 13 Dec 2022
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 26 Oct. 2022, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) promulgated the “Opinions on Regulating the Operating Mechanism of Collegial Panels” (hereinafter the “Opinions”, 关于规范合议庭运行机制的意见).

The collegial panel is the basic judicial organization of the Chinese courts. In Chinese litigation, a case is heard by a sole judge or a collegial panel. However, significant cases are all tried by a collegial panel.

The Opinions issued by the SPC summarizes the previous rules on collegial panels and formulates new comprehensive rules.

The Opinions consists of a total of 11 articles, among which the notable provisions are as follows:

  1. All members of a collegial panel shall equally participate in case trials.
  2. All members of a collegial panel shall independently express their views on evidence admissibility, the finding of facts, application of law, litigation procedures, and judgment results, and assume the corresponding responsibilities.
  3. A collegial panel may be composed of members designated or randomly selected. For complicated cases, the court president or tribunal director may appoint members of the collegial panel according to their powers and functions.
  4. The collegial panel shall have one of its judges as the responsible judge, who shall perform the following responsibilities of organizing and coordinating the trial:
    1. Leading or instructing ancillary judicial personnel in ancillary trial work;
    2. Requesting for deliberation of the collegial panel on procedural applications filed by the parties such as jurisdictional challenges, appearance in court of witnesses, and exclusion of illegally obtained evidence;
    3. Presenting opinions on the review of the evidence and drafting the trial scheme;
    4. Preparing or instructing ancillary judicial personnel to draft trial reports and retrieval reports of similar cases;
    5. Preparing judgment documents according to the collegial panel’s deliberation opinions or the judicial committee’s decisions.
  5. In the deliberation by a collegial panel, if there is a divergence in opinions, the collegial panel shall make a decision according to the majority opinion, but the minority opinion shall also be included in the transcript.



Cover Photo by JuniperPhoton on Unsplash



Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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