Written by Dongyu Sun. Edited by Susan Finder and Changhao Wei.
This post also appears on the Supreme People’s Court Monitor.
On December 15, 2005, a loaded truck rolled over on a mountain road in Chongqing, crushing a trishaw carrying He Yuan and her two friends to school. All three perished in the accident. What thrust this tragedy into the national spotlight, however, was the drastically different amounts of compensation their families received. The trucker’s employer settled with the families of Yuan’s friends for over 200,000 RMB each, but was willing to pay hers only 80,000 RMB—because she, unlike her classmates, had a rural hukou (or household registration). The company cited a 2003 Supreme People’s Court (SPC) interpretation on the application of law in personal injury cases (2003 Interpretation), which created two separate standards for compensating the deaths of urban and rural residents.
As a result of this effectively hukou-based rule, countless victims’ families have found themselves in the same position as Yuan’s. The Chinese public has dubbed this phenomenon “same life, different values” [同命不同价] and has persistently criticized the 2003 Interpretation. Some citizens have requested that the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) conduct a constitutional review of the Interpretation.
It was not until 2020 that the NPCSC’s Legislative Affairs Commission publicly addressed these requests in its annual report on “recording and review” (R&R) [备案审查]. This report’s timing and content are significant. Below, we will first take a closer look at the 2003 Interpretation and the controversy surrounding hukou-based compensation standards, before returning to the Commission’s report.
Continue reading “Recording & Review Pt. 8: “Same Life, Different Values””
The Council of Chairmen decided on Tuesday that the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene its second session from April 25 to 27. The three-day session will review draft laws and decisions involving increased protection for Communist “heroes and martyrs,” reform of China’s people’s assessor (or lay judge) system, implementation of the State Council reorganization plan, and the Shanghai Financial Court. The Council also approved the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative and oversight plans; we will publish our coverage and analysis after they are released in the coming weeks.
Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Historical Nihilism Crackdown, People’s Assessor System Reform, State Council Reorganization & Shanghai Financial Court”
UPDATE (Nov. 22, 2017): This post has been updated with the explanations of two decisions passed by the 30th Session of the 12th NPCSC. See details below.
The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 30th Session last Saturday with the passage of various laws and decisions. This post is a quick rundown of the actions taken by the the NPCSC at the close of the session. Unfortunately, due to other things requiring much of our attention, this time we aren’t able to include the usual level of details as we did before. Apologies. Also, please let us know if any of the links below directs to the wrong webpage—we wrote this blog post in a hurry.
Continue reading “NPCSC Criminalized National Anthem Disrespect, Applied National Anthem Law to SARs & Authorized Nationwide Supervision System and Armed Police Reforms”
In August 2014, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) passed a decision establishing three intellectual property courts (IP courts) in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou—a reform set forth in the 2013 Third Plenum Decision. On the basis of that decision, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) further delineated the jurisdiction of the three IP courts in October 2014. (The SPC’s provisions are not available in English, but the China IPR blog has analyzed them in detail in this blog post, which links to a helpful chart outlining the IP courts’ jurisdiction.) The three courts started accepting cases at the end of 2014.
Pursuant to the NPCSC’s decision, the SPC reported to the NPCSC on the first three years of operation of the three IP courts in late August. The purpose of this blog post is to highlight some statistics and developments mentioned in the report and also to flag it for other commentators to conduct further parsing.
Continue reading “Supreme People’s Court Reports to NPCSC on the Operation of IP Courts”
Earlier this afternoon, at the closing meeting of its 27th Session, the 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) voted on and approved a series of legislative bills as well as decisions on personnel and reform of the judicial system. The following is a quick review of the actions taken by the NPCSC today.
Continue reading “27th Session Watch Pt. 2: NPCSC Concludes Session with New Laws, Decisions”
This post continues Part 1 with a summary of the second half of the Supreme People’s Court’s (SPC’s) midterm report on pilot reform of the people’s assessor system—authorized by the NPC Standing Committee in April 2015. This part of the SPC’s report concerns the problems the Court identified with the pilot projects as well as its suggestions for further advancing the reform. In the days since we published Part 1, we have learned that the NPCSC is poised to renew the pilot projects (at least for another year, we think). One therefore could expect the SPC to focus on the difficulties discussed below in the next phase of the reform.
Continue reading “Reviewing the Supreme People’s Court Report on the People’s Assessor System Reform: Pt. 2”
In April 2015, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) passed a decision authorizing the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) to conduct pilot programs to reform the people’s assessor system in 50 courts—at both basic and intermediate level—in ten listed provinces. The pilots formally began on April 28, 2015 to run for a period of two years, in accordance with the NPCSC’s authorization. In June 2016, months before we started this Blog, the SPC submitted to the NPCSC a midterm report on the status of the pilot programs, as required by the authorization. As the authorization is set to expire later this month, we think it fitting at this moment to review what the SPC has written about the reform efforts in its 2016 report.
Continue reading “Reviewing the Supreme People’s Court Report on the People’s Assessor System Reform: Pt. 1”