The people’s procuratorates are State organs for legal supervision. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate is the highest procuratorial organ. It is mainly responsible for supervising regional procuratorates and special procuratorates to perform legal supervision by law and protecting the unified and proper enforcement of State laws. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate has to report its work to the NPC and its Standing Committee, to whom it is responsible, and accept their supervision.
Major Functions of the SPP
1. To be responsible and report its work to the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee, and accept the supervision of the NPC and its Standing Committee;
2. To put forward proposals to the NPC and its Standing Committee;
3. To exercise leadership over local and special people’s procuratorates, stipulate the policies and guidelines as well as lay out the work and tasks of prosecution;
4. To investigate cases of embezzlement, bribery, offense against the democratic rights of citizens, negligence of public duty and other criminal acts according to law. To offer leadership over local and special prosecution bodies in their investigation work;
5. To exercise the power of prosecution on serious criminal cases, approve the arrest and prosecution in cases of criminal activities handled by local and special procuratorates;
6. To exercise leadership over local and special procuratorates in the supervision of law enforcement in conducting prosecution of civil cases and economic disputes and administrative charges;
7. To lodge protests with the Supreme People’s Court over verdicts and decisions made by people’s courts at various levels which are already being enforced but are actually mistaken;
8. To examine decisions made by local and special procuratorates in the exercise of the rights of prosecution and correct any mistakes they have made;
9. To handle charges, appeals and reports made by citizens;
10. To handle reports on criminal activities such as embezzlement and bribery and conduct the work of reporting in all prosecution bodies in the country;
11. To suggest plans for the restructuring of the national prosecuting system and implement the plans; stipulate and guide the technical work, examination, authentication and review of material evidence of prosecution bodies in the country;
12. To offer judicial interpretations in the actual application of law in the work of prosecution;
13. To make stipulations, regulations and implementation rules on the work of prosecution;
14. To be responsible for the political work and bringing up of the staff in the nation’s prosecution bodies; to exercise leadership over local and special prosecution bodies in the running of procurators according to law; to stipulate the methods for the management of prosecuting clerks;
15. To take part in the management, examination and review of the chief and deputy chief procurators of special procuratorates and the procuratorates of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and propose to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on the appointment or removal of these chief procurators; to suggest to the NPC Standing Committee on replacing the chief procurators, deputy chief procurators and procurators of the procuratorates at the subordinating levels;
16. To take part in the management of the organizational setup and the size of the staff in various prosecution bodies;
17. To organize and guide the education and training of the staff of prosecution bodies, make plans and provide guidance on the training centers and the cultivation of the teaching staff;
18. To plan and guide the work of finance and equipment in the nation’s prosecuting organs;
19. To organize and conduct exchanges with foreign counterparts and international judicial assistance; to review and approve the assistance on individual cases involving such areas of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan;
20. To exercise administration over officials of prosecuting organs and those in subordinate institutions; to review and approve the work and development plans of subordinate institutions; and
21. To be responsible for other jobs that should be handled by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
The Organizational Setup of the SPP
The SPP consists of 15 functional departments as well a political work department, a retiree bureau and five subordinate institutions.
The functional departments include the general affairs office, investigation supervision department, prosecution department, anti-embezzlement and bribery administration, negligence of duty and rights infringement prosecution department, prison and detention department, civil and administration department, reporting and charges prosecution department (also known as the Reporting and Charges Center of the SPP), criminal appeals department, railway transportation prosecution department, department for the prevention of crimes committed by taking advantage of one’s positions, law and policy research office, supervision bureau, foreign affairs bureau, planning, finance and equipment bureau.
The political work department itself consists of officers of publicity, education and training as well as the general affairs office.
Subordinate institutions refer to the organ service center, the Procuratorate Daily, China Procuratorate Publishing House, procuratorate technology information research center, procuratorate theory research institute and the state procurators college.
Major Tasks of the Functional Departments of the SPP
Prison and Detention Department
It is responsible for providing guidance to executive organs in the legality of their activities of implementing penalties, reducing sentences, making release on parole, and allowing medical treatment on bail, the legality of the activities of prisons, detention centers and organs in charge of education through forced labor and supervising over extra time of custody; giving guidance on the investigation before trial of cases of malpractices in the execution of sentences and penalties, ill-treatment of those held in prison or detention centers, releasing without permission those in custody, negligence leading to the escape of those in custody, reducing sentences, granting release on parole and allowing medical treatment on bail as a result of giving favoritism and engaging in irregular practices; dealing with questions submitted by procuratorates of lower levels over difficult cases and studying and formulating rules and regulations for the prosecution work concerning prisons and detention centers.
Civil and Administration Department
This department is in charge of providing guidance over civil and economic dispute trials, administrative charges and supervision cases in the country; in accordance with procuratorial supervision procedures, putting forward protests to the SPP against verdicts of courts at various levels on civil, economic and administrative cases that have already been implemented but are indeed mistaken; appearing in court during the trial in the Supreme People’s Court of civil, economic and administrative cases which the SPP is protesting; studying very difficult issues in the nation concerning the trial of civil and economic disputes and charges and supervision of administrative cases and putting forward solutions; undertaking inquires raised by lower prosecution bodies over difficult issues in the work of civil and administrative procuratorial organs; and studying and formulating rules and regulations concerning the work of civil and administrative supervision.
Criminal Appeals Department
It is responsible for giving guidance to the work of prosecuting organs concerning criminal appeals and compensation; dealing with citizens’ criminal appeals, dealing with appeals of criminals serving sentences or of their close relatives or legal agents; dealing with criminal appeal cases under the jurisdiction of prosecution organs and urging prosecution organs to investigate and report the results; making comprehensive reports on the situation of criminal appeals and compensation; handling criminal appeals and compensations; and studying and formulating rules and regulations concerning the work of criminal appeals and compensation.
Railway Transportation Prosecution Department
It is in charge of giving guidance to the prosecution work concerning railway transportation in the country; directly participating or organizing or coordinating the investigation of serious cases which have national impact and are being handled by prosecution bodies; giving approval to the arrest and charges in serious cases concerning railway transportation that are of national impact; studying and analyzing criminal activities and trends in railway transportation and putting forward policies of dealing with the situation; and studying and formulating rules and regulations concerning the work of prosecution in railway transportation.
Negligence of Duty and Right Infringement Prosecution Department
It is in charge of giving guidance on the investigation and inquisition of cases involving civil servants in the negligence of their duties or abusing their power to illegally detain people, extort confession through torture, retaliate through frame-up, search and to engage in other criminal activities that infringe upon the personal rights and democratic rights of citizens; taking part in the investigation of serious criminal cases of negligence of duties and infringement upon rights; directly investigating serious cases of negligence of duties and infringement upon rights that are of national significance; organizing, coordinating and leading the investigation of serious cases of negligence of duties and infringement upon rights which involve more than one province; studying and analyzing the rules and features of crimes of negligence of duties and infringement upon rights, and putting forward corresponding policies of dealing with them; handling inquires raised by lower prosecution bodies concerning serious and difficult issues in their work; and studying and formulating rules and regulations concerning the prosecution of cases of negligence of duty and infringement upon rights.
Reporting and Charges Prosecution Department (Reporting and Charges Center of the SPP)
It is responsible for offering guidance to the work on reporting and bringing charges by the prosecution bodies in the country; handling reports and charges lodged by citizens; referring clues of reports and charges to proper organs and making preliminary investigation of clues of reports and charges that are not exactly clear as to which organ should be the handling body and therefore are difficult in being referred to the proper authorities; making comprehensive reports on the situation of reporting and charges; and studying and formulating rules and regulations on the work of reporting and charges.
Department for the Prevention of Crimes Committed by Abusing One’s Power
It is responsible for offering guidance to the work of procuratorates in the prevention of crimes committed by people taking advantage of their job positions; studying and analyzing the rules and features of the prevention of crimes committed by people taking advantage of their job positions in the country and putting forward policies against bribery, embezzlement and negligence of duties; conducting work of prevention of crimes committed by minors; undertaking publicity of the legal system in the prevention of crimes committed by people taking advantage of their job positions; handling inquiries raised by lower level procuratorates concerning difficult issues in the prevention of crimes committed by people taking advantage of their job positions; and studying and formulating rules and regulations concerning the work of the prevention of crimes committed by people taking advantage of their job positions.
Investigation Supervision Department
It is responsible for offering guidance over arrests and investigation of the suspects of criminal cases in the country (including cases directly handled by prosecution bodies involving bribery, embezzlement and negligence of duties) and supervising the investigation of such cases; handling cases involving giving approval to arrests referred to by the SPP; undertaking the reply to inquires raised by lower prosecution bodies concerning difficult questions in approving arrests; giving guidance to the review and approval of arrests of minors who have committed crimes; and studying and formulating rules and regulations concerning the work of giving approvals to arrests.
Public Prosecution Department
It is responsible for giving guidance to the reviews of instituting legal proceedings, bringing charges in court and making protests against court verdicts and decisions concerning criminal cases in the country (including cases of crimes of bribery, embezzlement and negligence of duties directly investigated by prosecution bodies); offering guidance to the supervision of trial activities of people’s courts; undertaking cases the SPP instituting legal proceedings or making protests and conducting duties in court in cases in which the SPP is protesting against the opening of trials by the Supreme People’s Court; handling inquires raised by lower prosecution bodies concerning difficult issues in instituting legal proceedings; providing guidance to the work of instituting legal proceedings of cases involving minors; and studying and formulating rules and regulations on the work of bringing public charges.
Anti-Bribery and Embezzlement Administration
It is in charge of giving guidance to investigation and inquisition of cases handled by prosecution bodies in the country concerning bribery, embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, improper source of huge funds, concealing deposits overseas, dividing up state-owned funds or confiscated properties among private individuals; taking part in the investigation of serious criminal cases of bribery and embezzlement; organizing, coordinating and leading the investigation of serious bribery and embezzlement cases; taking charge of coordinated investigation of serious bribery and embezzlement cases; studying and analyzing the rules and features of crimes of bribery and embezzlement in the country and putting forward policies of dealing with such crimes; handling inquires raised by lower level prosecution bodies concerning difficult issues on anti-bribery and embezzlement work; and studying and formulating rules and regulations concerning the work in anti-bribery and embezzlement prosecution.
Law and Policy Research Office
It is responsible for the study of the implementation of state laws, regulations and policies concerning prosecution work, putting forward suggestions correspondingly; undertaking the drafting of laws related to prosecution work; handling the drafting and negotiation of legal documents concerning judicial assistance and extradition agreements; making research in the applied theories on prosecution; providing suggestions on the drafts of state laws and administrative regulations when the SPP is asked to offer its opinions; giving judicial explanations on legal issues concerning prosecution; studying and planning the building of a legal system in prosecution work; undertaking the daily routine work of the Prosecution Committee of the SPP; offering guidance to the research of basic theories on prosecution work; providing guidance and leadership over inspection of the enforcement of law among prosecution bodies; collecting books and materials on prosecution work; editing and compiling laws, legal documents and almanacs on prosecution work; undertaking the routine work of the Special Consulting Committee of the SPP; and handling work of the SPP concerning Taiwan.
It is responsible for providing guidance to the supervision work of all prosecution bodies in the country; inspecting the implementation of laws, regulations, decisions of the SPP or procuratorates of higher levels by prosecution bodies and their subsidiary organizations at various levels; handling charges and reports against members of prosecution bodies in their actions against disciplines; dealing with prosecution staff who have broken disciplines and their appeals against disciplinary decisions.
Foreign Affairs Bureau
It is responsible for the external exchanges and international judicial assistance of prosecution bodies and giving guidance to developing external exchanges by prosecution bodies in the country; in charge of contact and assistance of prosecution bodies in different parts of the country with those in Hong Kong and Macao; in charge of investigation of cases involving foreigners; coordinating and managing the drafting and negotiation of agreements between the SPP and foreign prosecution organizations; translating and compiling related materials and studying international judicial developments.
Planning, Finance and Equipment Bureau
It is responsible for giving guidance on planning and finance to prosecution bodies in the country; formulating long- and medium-term development plans concerning finance and equipment of prosecution bodies in the country and implementing such plans; distributing and managing funds for the work, equipment and capital construction of prosecution bodies; offering guidance to the plans of the prosecution system of the country on technical equipment, transportation, communication, armament and uniforms; reviewing and managing the funds for the various offices of the SPP and subsidiary institutions for their daily work, capital construction and foreign affairs activities; and handling the unified purchasing and allocation of their equipment of materials.
General Affairs Office
Assisting the leadership of the SPP in their office work, organizing and coordinating the important work and implementation of major plans of the SPP, and organizing important conferences and activities; drafting documents; taking care of secretarial work; handling information on prosecution and compiling publications for internal circulation; maintaining contact with deputies to the National People’s Congress and special procurators; in charge of the order and routine office work of the organs of the SPP; in charge of statistics and management of archives and maintenance of secrets of prosecution work; giving guidance to the study of technology and information concerning prosecution work and issuing guidance to the related work of lower prosecution bodies.