SPC Issues Guiding Opinions on Working Mechanism of Presiding Judge Meetings
- Lately, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) issued the Guiding Opinions on Improving the Working Mechanism of Presiding Judge Meetings of the People's Courts (for Trial Implementation).
- According to the Opinions, the working mechanism of the presiding judge meeting can be established within a single trial department or across trial departments or trial teams; attendees at such meetings include judges within the quota of the court, and experts and scholars, deputies to the people's congresses, members of the CPPCC National Committee and other relevant persons may be invited to participate when necessary. All trial departments and circuit courts of the SPC and local people's courts should formulate detailed working rules as actually needed, and establish working mechanism of the presiding judge meetings with flexibility.
- The Opinions clarify that, except for four types of cases in which the court presidents and division chiefs should perform their trial supervision management duties, a collegial panel or a sole judge should independently decide whether to submit the case to the presiding judge meeting for discussion; the collegial panel or the sole judge in charge of hearing the case makes an independent decision on whether to adopt the opinions formed after discussion at the presiding judge meeting, and should be responsible for final results concluded for this case; the meeting minutes formulated at the presiding judge meeting through discussion on the case, and the performance of trial supervision and management duties by court presidents and division chiefs should be recorded throughout the whole process in case files and the platforms for handling cases; and all personnel attending the presiding judge meeting have the legal obligation to keep the trial secrets, among others.
- In addition, the Opinions also provide for the procedures for proposing the convening of the presiding judge meeting, rules of procedure for the meeting, and centralized management mechanism of the meeting, among others.