China The Judiciary
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
The State Constitution of 1982 and the Organic Law of the People's Courts that went into effect on January 1, 1980, provide for a four-level court system. At the highest level is the Supreme People's Court, the premier appellate forum of the land, which supervises the administration of justice by all subordinate "local" and "special" people's courts. Local people's courts--the courts of the first instance--handle criminal and civil cases. These people's courts make up the remaining three levels of the court system and consist of "higher people's courts" at the level of the provinces, autonomous regions, and special municipalities; "intermediate people's courts" at the level of prefectures, autonomous prefectures, and municipalities; and "basic people's courts" at the level of autonomous counties, towns, and municipal districts (see Court Structure and Process , ch. 13).
In April 1986, at the Fourth Session of the Sixth National People's Congress, the General Principles of the Civil Code was approved as "one of China's basic laws." Consisting of more than 150 articles, the code is intended to regulate China's internal and external economic relations to establish a stable base conducive to trade and attractive to foreign investors. Many of its provisions define the legal status of economic entities and the property rights they exercise. The code clearly stipulates that private ownership of the means of production is protected by law and may not be seized or interfered with by any person or organization. It also recognizes partnerships and wholly foreign-owned or joint-venture enterprises (see Reform of the Economic System, Beginning in 1979 , ch. 5).
Data as of July 1987
NOTE: The information regarding China on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of China The Judiciary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about China The Judiciary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.