Those judicial interpretation prior to 1985 can be traced with another publication entitled, A Collected Edition of Judicial Interpretation of the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China: 1949.10-1993.6 (People's Court Press, 1994). This historical collection, compiled by the research department of the Supreme People's Court, contains seven parts involving: general provisions, criminal law, criminal Procedure law, civil law (including general principles of civil law, marriage law, succession law and copyright law), economic law, maritime law, civil procedure law, and administrative procedure law. It collects about 2,200 judicial interpretations issued solely by the Supreme People's Court or jointly with other central state organs from October 1949 to June 1993, and has been considered as a very useful archival source on searching for the judicial interpretations of early days.

In addition to the official publications mentioned above, a commercial collection deserving mention is: A Complete Collection of Judicial Interpretations of New China: 1949.10 - 1990.6 (China Procuratorial Press, 1990) and its enlarged edition, 1990.6.-1992.6. This collection, dividing judicial documents into several parts covering criminal and civil affairs, criminal and civil procedures, administrative law, lawyer and notarization, judiciary involving foreign interests, records a great many judicial documents issued by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate and other normative documents such as legislative interpretation, law, policy, circular, reply and so forth adopted or promulgated by NPC, the State Council and Ministries and Commissions concerned. Furthermore, there is an English list of the legislative and judicial documents passed or issued from June 1990 to June 1992, in the end of enlarged edition which will prove useful to foreign readers.

Subject Collection

In recent years, the relevant adjudication divisions of the Supreme People's Court have also compiled some judicial handbooks subject to their trial jurisdiction.

Administrative Trial

Handbook of Administrative Trial (People's Court Press, 1987-1999, yearly). This is a major serial publication concerning administrative procedure published during the period 1987-1999. Compiled jointly by the Research Department and the Administrative Division of the Supreme People's Court, it includes usually three or four score of laws passed by the NPC and its standing committee, administrative regulations enacted by the State Council and committees and ministries under it, and judicial interpretations made by the Supreme People's Court regarding to administrative proceedings. It groups them into twenty or so subjects, including: finance, statistics, tourism, industrial and commercial administration, customs, taxation, audit, social securities, technical supervision, education, culture, journalism and publication, national defense, science and technology, public security, civil affairs, justice, and environmental protection. The first volume cumulated the laws, regulations and judicial interpretations promulgated or issued during the period 1979-1986.

A Collection of Judicial Interpretations on Administrative Proceedings (Jincheng Press, 2001) and Reference to Administrative Regulations and Judicial Review (Law Press, 2000-date, yearly) These two subject compilations on administrative trials are edited by the Administrative Division of the Supreme People's Court. The former, covering the period 1982 to 2000, compiles nearly 200 judicial documents of the Supreme People's Court relating to administrative procedure into one volume, and arranges them into a dozen subjects, which is very convenient for readers to search for a judicial interpretation on a specific topic. The latter, commencing  in 2000 in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the implementation of Administrative Procedural Law of the PRC, is somewhat of an academic work which is composed usually of several parts embracing many of the latest materials on administrative trial, such as new laws and regulations, new judicial interpretations, theses on understanding and application of judicial interpretation, statistical data, and court decisions, etc. It merits mention here as the theses in this publication are well worth reading for their academic nature which can help readers to understand the meanings of judicial interpretation more clearly.

Civil Trial

Civil trial is the main work of court's justice for civil case makes up 90% of the total cases and the civil adjudication personnel also makes up 90% of the whole judicial personnel. In order to fit in with the needs of developing the socialist market economy and of accession to the WTO, the Supreme People's Court underwent in 2000 an important institutional reform which adjusts the institutions and functions of divisions of civil, economic, intellectual property, transport and communications and brought them into one category of civil trial. Thus a big pattern of civil justice has been set up since then.

There have many judicial publications relevant to the civil justice been published since the early days of 80s. Two chief ones are the Civil Handbook (People's Court Press and later, the Mass Press) and the Handbook of Civil Justice (China Legal System Press, 2001). The former, compiled by the preceding civil division of the Supreme People's Court and published continuously in six volumes during the period 1979-1998, contains the laws, regulations and judicial documents concerning civil trial. Though outdated somewhat in content, it is still considered as a useful source on searching for the judicial documents on administrative trial issued in the early days of 80s. The latter is a newly published subject collection of judicial documents which is composed of three companion volumes entitled, respectively, the Handbook of Civil Justice (Commerce), Handbook of Civil Justice (Intellectual Property), and Handbook of Civil Justice (Foreign Matters, Maritime, Transportation). They contain the laws, regulations and judicial explanations currently effective. Readers will find that it is very convenient for them to search for legal documents in connection with civil trial by using these publications.

There are in addition several subject compilations edited by the relevant former divisions of the Supreme People's Court and published during 80-90s' such as:

Handbook of Transport and Communications Justice (People's Court Press, 1989, edited by division of transport and communications);

Handbook of Economic Justice (People's Court Press, 1988-, economic division, 27 chapters have been published up to 2001 and will continue to be published by the civil division);

Handbook of Real Estate Justice (Law Press, 1991, 3 volumes, civil court), and its revised ed. New Handbook of Real Estate Justice: 1949.10-1997.7 (the Supreme People's Court Press, 1997, also reprinted in 2000);

Handbook of Labour Dispute Justice (Law Press, 1994, civil court), which can be used to trace outdated legal documents on this topic.

Since China carries out the policy of sa ocialist market economy and accession to the World Trade Organization, many problems and disputes have emerged in the civil and economic activities. The civil division of the Supreme People's Court, in response to the new situation appeared in the judicial practices and for the sake of directing the lower courts to apply the law correctly, edits two academic series: Reference and Guide to Civil Trial (Law Press, 2000-, quarterly) and Civil and Commercial Trial Review (Law Press, 1999-, irregularly). These two series, apart from containing the new judicial interpretations connected with civil trial, also embrace several special columns such as:

  • Policy of Civil Justice, issuing the directive proposals of the Supreme People's Court and the speech of the leaders of the Supreme People's Court delivered in symposiums and meetings relevant to civil trial;
  • Report for Requesting Instructions and Reply, publishing the approval in reply of the Supreme People's Court on the report for requesting instructions of provincial higher people's court regarding civil cases;
  • Cases Analysis, commenting the typical civil cases sentenced by courts at various levels and second instance cases sentenced by the Supreme People Court;
  • Judge Reading Notes, personal understanding and experience of senior judges from their trial practices;
  • Selected Judgments, carrying the written judgment of typical civil cases decided by the Supreme People's Court.

The materials and the cases notes in the series mentioned above are wrote and organized mainly by the judges who are in the judicial front and partake in the trial, and the information they offered is considered commonly as accurate and authoritative. So these publications are play an important role in directing lower courts in their judicial practices and have a high academic value.

Criminal Trial

In 1997, the NPC passed the amendments to the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law , and late in the same year the Supreme People's Court also issued a number of judicial interpretations for the sake of directing the lower courts to comprehend and apply correctly the amended laws and improve the quality of criminal justice. Some compilations dealing with criminal trial were published afterward, among which the following ones have the best quality.

A Compilation of the Latest Criminal Laws and Judicial Interpretations (Police Officer Press, 1998 Ed., 1999 Revised Ed.; The University of China People's Public Security Press, 2001 Revised Ed.), and its companion, A New Handbook of Criminal Laws and Judicial Interpretations (Law Press, 1999). Edited by the Research Department of the Supreme People's Court, these two collections collect all the effective decisions and laws passed by the NPC and judicial interpretations and documents issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of Justice involving criminal justice and arrange them in an order corresponding to the structures of the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law and is easy for readers to search for a document. Their revised editions keep the content updated to 2001.

Handbook of Criminal Justice Supervision (People's Court Press, 1990). This is another useful source for tracing criminal judicial explanation prior to the 1990s. Compiled by the Second Criminal Division of the Supreme People's Court, it embraces the criminal laws and judicial documents involving criminal trial since 1979, when the first Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law was promulgated, to 1990 and has permanent reference value.

Since 1997, when the amended Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law become effective, a lot of new problems have emerged in the judicial trial practices. In order to enhance the judges' abilities to solve problems and deepen their understanding on the criminal law amended, the First Criminal Division of the Supreme People's Court publishes a professional research and directive publication entitled, the Reference to Criminal Trial (Law Press, bimonthly, 1999-date, cumulated yearly).  It is written mainly by the judges with rich trial experience of the said division and law school professorsl. The content of this book involves several parts of cases covering some typical crimes, laws, regulations and judicial explanations, selected verdict document and samples of litigation documents. In the cumulative volume, there is a subject index and a list in English which will help readers abroad.

There is another academic publication entitled A Guide to Criminal Jurisprudence (Law Press, 2000-date, Quarterly) which plays the same role as the former. Compiled by the Criminal Procuratorial Department of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and written by reputed legal experts, it usually includes several parts such as judicial practice, application of evidence, legislative interpretation, analysis of disputed case, analysis and interpretation of newly defined crimes. Each part contains three or four studying articles focusing on some key and difficult points emerging in the criminal justice practices, providing incisive analysis offering authoritative opinions to the judicial practitioners.

State Compensation

On May 12, 1994, the NPC passed the Law of the People's Republic of China on State Compensation, which divides the state compensation into two categories: administrative compensation and criminal compensation. In China, the problem of criminal compensation is not solved by general judicial proceedings. The decision for compensation is made by the compensation commission within the intermediate court and its higher courts. In order to meet the needs of lower courts in handling compensation cases, the Compensation Commission Office of the Supreme People's Court edited the Handbook on State Criminal Compensation (People's Court Press, 1995) which includes the laws and regulations of the NPC, the State Council, judicial documents of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate concerning criminal compensation promulgated or issued from 1979 to 1995.

Annotated Edition

From 1990s, the China's legislative activities reached it's high tide and many laws and regulations relating to the establishment of socialist market economy and protecting the citizen's democratic rights were enacted one after another according to the constitution amendments passed in 1993 and 1999 which provide that "the state practices socialist market economy" and "the People's Republic of China governs the country according to law and makes it a socialist country ruled by law". In order to enable the lower courts to comprehend and apply the law accurately, the Supreme People's Court strengthened its work on judicial interpretation and at the same time organized some well-experienced legal experts, law professors and judges who had been a party to the drafting of judicial interpretation, to write some annotated editions of judicial documents, such as:

  • An Accurate Interpretation on Accusation in the Criminal Law (People's Court Press, 1998);
  • A Comprehension and Application of Interpretation for Certain Problems involving the Application of the Guaranty Law of the People's Republic of China (Jilin People's Press, 2000);
  • A New Interpretation and Application Concerning the Guaranty Law of the People's Republic of China (Xinhua Press, 2001);
  • A Comprehension and Application of Interpretation on Several Problems Relating to the Definition of Moral Damage Caused by Tort (People's Court Press, 2001);
  • A Comprehension and Application of Provisions Regarding the Hearing Scope of Civil Cases (For Trial Implementation) (People's Court Press, 2001);
  • An Explanation on the Implementary Proposals of General Principles of Civil Law of the People's Republic of China (China Legal System Press, 2001).

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