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INTRODUCTION TO THE PEOPLE'S PROCURATORATES OF
THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Article 130 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China provides that the PRC establishes the Supreme People's Procuratorate, local people's procuratorates at different levels, the military procuratorates and other special people's procuratorates.

1. History

The people's procuratorates were established after the people's Republic of China was founded. The Organic Law of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China, adopted by the First Session of the Chinese Political Consultative Conference on September 27, 1949, stipulated that a Supreme Procuratorial Administration of the Central People's Government should be established, together with local people's procuratorial administrations at various levels. The first Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Organic Law of the People's Procuratorates, adopted by the First Session of the First National People's Congress in September 1954, both provided for the establishment of a Supreme People's Procuratorate, local procuratorates at various levels and special procuratorates. They also prescribed the functions and powers of the people's procuratorates as well as their organizational structure, the principles and procedures for their work. Later, in accordance with these documents procuratorates at all levels were gradually established.

For ten years during the "cultural revolution" that began in the mid- 1960"s, procuratorial organs were dissolved. In March 1978 the First Session of the Fifth National People's Congress decided to reestablish people's procuratorates at all levels, and in July 1979 the Second Session of the Fifth NPC promulgated a revised Organic Law of the People's Procuratorates. Since then, the procuratorates have played a crucial role in maintaining the unity and dignity of the state legal system and ensuring the smooth progress of socialist modernization.

II. Nature and Tasks

Article 129 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China states that the people's procuratorates are state organs for legal supervision. By exercising their procuratorial authority, the people's procuratorates suppress all treason, attempts to split the country or other counterrevolutionary activities, and prosecute counterrevolutionaries and other criminals. Their purpose is to safeguard the unity of the country, the people's democratic dictatorship and the socialist legal system; to maintain public order, including order in production and other work, in education and scientific research, and in the daily life of the people; to protect the socialist property owned by the whole people and by collectives and the private property lawfully owned by individuals; to protect the citizens' rights of the person and their democratic and other rights; and to ensure the smooth progress of socialist modernization. The people's procuratorates also educate the citizens, encouraging them to be loyal to their socialist motherland, to conscientiously observe the Constitution and the laws and to combat illegal activities.

III. Functions and Powers

The people's procuratorates exercise the following functions and powers:

VI. Principles of Operation

In exercising their supervisory functions and their procuratorial authority, the people's procuratorates are expected to adhere to the following principles, as provided by the law;

V. Organizational Structure

The Supreme People's Procuratorate

The Supreme People's Procuratorate is the highest procuratorial organ of the state. It's main functions and powers are as follows:

The Supreme People's Procuratorate consists of the following departments:

Criminal Procuratorial Department:

Procuratorial Department for Embezzlement and Bribery:

Procuratorial Department for Dereliction of Duty and Infringement of Citizens' Rights:

Procuratorial Department for Railways:

Procuratorial Department for Prisons and Reformatories:

Procuratorial Department for Civil and Administrative Cases:

Procuratorial Department for Accusations and Petitions:

Local People's Procuratorates

These include:

If their work requires it, people's procuratorates at provincial or county level, with the approval of the standing committee of the people's congress at the corresponding level, may set up branches in industrial and mining areas, agricultural reclamation areas, forest zones, etc.

Special People's Procuratorates

There are two types of special people's procuratorates

The military procuratorates are special organs for legal supervision in the Chinese People's Liberation Army. They exercise procuratorial authority in cases of dereliction of duty and other criminal offenses committed by active servicemen.

Railway procuratorates include branches in all regional railway bureaus and sub-bureaus.

The Procuratorial Committee

Each people's procuratorate has a procuratorial committee. The committee is expected to institute the system of democratic centralism and, under the direction of the chief procurator, to discuss and decide important cases and other major issues, on the principle of the minority being subordinate to the majority. If the chief procurator disagrees with the majority's decision on an important matter, it is referred to the standing committee of the people's congress at the corresponding level for final decision.

VI. Personnel

Each people's procuratorate is composed of the following: chief procurator, deputy chief procurators, members of the procuratorial committee, procurators, assistant procurators, clerks, judicial police and administrative support personnel.

The Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate is elected and removed by the National People's Congress, in accordance with the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Organic Law of the People's Procuratorates.

The Deputy Procurators-General, members of the procuratorial committee and procurators of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, as well as the Chief Procurator of the Military Procuratorate, are appointed and removed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress upon the recommendation of the Procurator-General.

The chief procurators of local people's procuratorates at and above the county level are elected and removed by the people's congresses at the corresponding levels. An election or a removal must be reported to the chief procurator at the next higher level, who submits it for the approval of the standing committee of the people's congress at the same level.

The deputy chef procurators, members of the procuratorial committee and procurators of local people's procuratorates are appointed and removed by the standing committees of the people's congresses at the corresponding levels upon the recommendation of the chief procurators.

The term of office of local chief procurators is the same as that of the people's congresses at the corresponding levels. The term of office of the Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate is the same as that of the National People's Congress, and the Procurator-General serves no more than two consecutive terms.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the standing committees of the people's congresses of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government may, upon proposals put forward by the Procurator-General or by the chief procurators at the corresponding levels, replace the chief procurators, deputy chief procurators and members of the procuratorial committees of people's procuratorates at lower levels.

The assistant procurators and clerks of all people's procuratorates are appointed and removed by chief procurators at the corresponding levels. With the approval of chief procurators, the assistant procurators can act as procurators.

The Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate is: Han Zhubin (from March 1998)

Supreme People's Procuratorate,
People's Republic of China:
147 Bei He Yan Street
Beijing, P.R. China
Telephone: 0086-10 6512 5902 or 0086 10 6524 1850

(This Introduction based on the materials proviced by the General Office of the Supreme People's Procuratorate of the People's Republic of China.) Newly updated in April 1998

(The English translations are for reference only)

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