Detailed Implementing Rules on the “Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Work on Case Guidance”
(Discussed and Passed by the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People’s Court on April 27, 2015 and Issued on May 13, 2015)
CHINA GUIDING CASES PROJECT
English Guiding Cases Rules
June 12, 2015 Edition*
In order to concretely implement the Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Work on Case Guidance, to strengthen, standardize, and promote work on case guidance, to [let] the guiding effect of Guiding Cases fully play its role in adjudication work, to unify standards for the application of law, and to safeguard judicial impartiality, [the Supreme People’s Court hereby] formulates this [set of] Detailed Implementing Rules.
Guiding Cases should  be cases whose rulings or judgments have already come into legal effect, [in which] facts are clearly ascertained, law is correctly applied, and reasoning for the adjudication is sufficient, and which [provide] good legal and social outcomes as well as universal guiding significance for the adjudication of similar cases.
[Each] Guiding Case is composed of [various sections], including “Title”, “Keywords”, “Main Points of the Adjudication”, “Related Legal Rule(s)”, “Basic Facts of the Case”, “Results of the Adjudication”, “Reasons for the Adjudication”, and notes that include the names of the adjudication personnel [given in] the effective ruling or judgment. Specific requirements for the style [to be used in] Guiding Cases shall be set forth separately.
The Office for the Work on Case Guidance of the Supreme People’s Court (hereinafter referred to as the “Case Guidance Office”) is in charge of the collection, selection, review, release, study, and compilation of Guiding Cases, as well as the coordination and guidance of the work on case guidance [carried out] by courts nationwide.
Each adjudication unit of the Supreme People’s Court is in charge of such work as the recommendation and review of Guiding Cases, and [shall] designate specific personnel responsible for the liaison work.
Each Higher People’s Court is in charge of such work as the recommendation, investigation, study, and supervision [of the use] of Guiding Cases in its jurisdiction. Candidate Guiding Cases recommended to the Supreme People’s Court by each Higher People’s Court should [first] be discussed and determined by the adjudication committee [of the said high court] or examined and approved by more than half of the members of the adjudication committee.
Intermediate People’s Courts and Basic People’s Courts should recommend candidate Guiding Cases through the Higher People’s Courts and [shall] designate specific personnel responsible for the work on case guidance.
Representatives of people’s congresses, members of committees of the political consultative conference, people’s assessors, experts, scholars, lawyers, and other people from all circles of society who care about the adjudication and enforcement work of people’s courts may recommend cases that meet the Guiding Case requirements to the original people’s court which rendered the effective ruling or judgment and may also make recommendations to the Case Guidance Office.
For cases that meet the Guiding Case requirements, members of the Experts’ Committee for the Work on Case Guidance may make recommendations to the Case Guidance Office.
Each adjudication unit of the Supreme People’s Court and [each] Higher People’s Court should submit the following materials when they recommend a candidate Guiding Case to the Case Guidance Office:
(1) the Guiding Case Recommendation Form;
(2) the text of the case that is written in accordance with the prescribed style and an explanation for the selection [of the case as a candidate Guiding Case]; and
(3) the related ruling or judgment.
Three paper copies of [each of] the above materials, along with an electronic version, are necessary [for submission].
The recommending court may submit [other materials], including a report on the adjudication of the case, as well as related news reports and research information.
For a candidate Guiding Case that the Case Guidance Office considers it necessary to study further, [the Office] may seek opinions from relevant organs, departments, and social organizations of the State, members of the Experts’ Committee for the Work on Case Guidance, and [other] experts and scholars.
Candidate Guiding Cases shall be submitted by the Case Guidance Office for examination in accordance with [relevant] procedures. The Guiding Cases discussed and passed by the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People’s Court shall be printed for distribution to each Higher People’s Court and issued in the Gazette of the Supreme People’s Court, in the People’s Court Daily, and on the website of the Supreme People’s Court.
Where a case being adjudicated is, in terms of the basic facts and application of law, similar to a Guiding Case released by the Supreme People’s Court, the [deciding] people’s court at any level should refer to the “Main Points of the Adjudication” of that relevant Guiding Case to render its ruling or judgment.
Where a people’s court at any level refers to a Guiding Case when adjudicating a similar case, [it] should quote the Guiding Case as a reason for its adjudication, but not cite [the Guiding Case] as the basis of its adjudication.
In the process of handling a case, the personnel handling the case should inquire about relevant Guiding Cases. Where a relevant Guiding Case is quoted in the adjudication document, [the personnel] should, in the part [of the document where they provide] reasons for their adjudication, quote the serial number and the “Main Points of the Adjudication” of the Guiding Case.
Where a public prosecution organ, a party to a case and his  defender,  or a litigation agent  quotes a Guiding Case as a ground [for the] prosecution (litigation) or defense, the personnel handling the case should, in [providing] the reasons for the adjudication, respond [as to] whether [they] referred to the Guiding Case [in the course of their adjudication] and explain their reasons [for doing so].
Under [either] one of the following circumstances, a Guiding Case no longer has guiding effect:
(1) [the Guiding Case] is in conflict with a new law, administrative regulation, or judicial interpretation;
(2) [the Guiding Case] is replaced with a new Guiding Case.
The Supreme People’s Court shall establish paper archives and an electronic information base for Guiding Cases to safeguard the reference and application, inquiry, retrieval, and compilation of the Guiding Cases.
People’s courts at all levels should, in accordance with [legal] provisions, including the Judges Law of the People’s Republic of China, give rewards to those entities and individuals that have made outstanding achievements in the work on case guidance.
This [set of] Detailed Implementing Rules shall be implemented from the date of [its] printing for distribution.
* The citation of this document is: 《〈最高人民法院关于案例指导工作的规定〉实施细则》(Detailed Implementing Rules on the “Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Work on Case Guidance”), passed by the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People’s Court on Apr. 27, 2015, issued on and effective as of May 13, 2015, China Guiding Cases Project, English Guiding Cases Rules, June 12, 2015 Edition, available at http://cgc.law.stanford.edu/guiding-cases-rules/20150513-english/.
This document was translated into English by Yingdi Qi, Jordan Corrente Beck, and Dr. Mei Gechlik. A few words included in square brackets and some translators’ notes were added to make the piece more comprehensible to readers. The following text, otherwise, is a direct translation of the original text.
 Translators’ note: though the original text reads “应当” (“should”), “must” is implied as these requirements are not optional.
 Translators’ note: though the masculine possessive “his” is used in this translation, it is meant as a gender-neutral term that may refer to “her” or “its”.
 Translators’ note: the original text reads “辩护人” (“defender”). According to Article 32 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, a criminal suspect or defendant may retain one or two defenders. A defender may be (1) a lawyer (“律师”); (2) a person recommended by a people’s group or the entity [where] a criminal suspect or defendant [works] (“人民团体或者犯罪嫌疑人、被告人所在单位推荐的人”); or (3) a guardian, relative, or friend of a criminal suspect or defendant (“犯罪嫌疑人、被告人的监护人、亲友”). A person who is serving a criminal sentence or whose personal freedom is deprived or restricted in accordance with law cannot serve as a defender. See 《中华人民共和国刑事诉讼法》 (Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China), passed on July 1, 1979, issued on July 7, 1979, effective as of Jan. 1, 1980, amended two times, most recently on Mar. 14, 2012, effective as of Jan. 1, 2013, available at http://www.gov.cn/flfg/2012-03/17/content_2094354.htm.
 Translators’ note: the original text reads “诉讼代理人” (“litigation agent”). According to Article 58 of the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, a party or a statutory agent (“法定代理人”) may retain one or two persons as litigation agents. A litigation agent may be (1) a lawyer or legal service worker at the basic level (“基层法律服务工作者”); (2) a close relative or staff member of a party; or (3) a citizen recommended by the community [where the party resides], the entity [where the party works], or a relevant social group (“当事人所在社区、单位以及有关社会团体推荐的公民”). See 《中华人民共和国民事诉讼法》 (Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China), passed, issued on, and effective as of Apr. 9, 1991, amended two times, most recently on Aug. 31, 2012, effective as of Jan. 1, 2013, available at http://www.gov.cn/flfg/2012-09/01/content_2214662.htm.