Procurators Law of the People's Republic of China
Order of the President of the People's Republic of China
The Procurators Law of the People's Republic of China, adopted at the Second 19th Meeting of the Thirteenth National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on April 23, 2019, is hereby promulgated and shall come into force as of October 1, 2019.
President of the People's Republic of China
April 23, 2019
Procurators Law of the People's Republic of China
(Adopted at the 12th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eighth National People's Congress on February 28, 1995, amended for the first time in accordance with the Decision on Amending the Procurators Law of the People's Republic of China adopted at the 22nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress on June 30, 2001, amended for the second time in accordance with the Decision on Amending Eight Laws Including the Judges Law of the People's Republic of China adopted at the 29th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Twelfth National People's Congress on September 1, 2017, and revised at the 10th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress on April 23, 2019)
Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II Duties, Obligations, and Rights
Chapter III Qualifications and Selection
Chapter IV Appointment and Removal
Chapter V Management
Chapter VI Appraisal, Awards, and Disciplinary Actions
Chapter VII Professional Guarantee
Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions
Article 1 This Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution to advance the cultivation of high-caliber procurators, strengthen the management and supervision over them, safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, ensure that people's procuratorates independently exercise their procuratorial power in accordance with the law and that procurators legally perform their functions and duties, and safeguard justice.
Article 2 Procurators refer to the procuratorial personnel who exercise State procuratorial power in accordance with the law, including the Procurator-General, the Deputy Procurator-General, and the chief procurators, deputy chief procurators, procuratorial committee members, and procurators of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the local people's procuratorates at all levels and specialized people's procuratorates such as military procuratorates.
Article 3 Procurators shall observe the Constitution and laws, safeguard social fairness and justice and be devoted to serving the people.
Article 4 Procurators shall stay diligent, honest, and clean, and live by professional ethics.
Article 5 Procurators shall perform their duties objectively and impartially on the basis of facts and law.
In handling criminal cases, procurators shall abide by the principle of nullum crimen sine lege, and respect and protect human rights, ensuring that crimes are prosecuted while protecting the non-guilty from criminal prosecution.
Article 6 Procurators shall be protected by law, and brook no interference from administrative bodies, social groups or individuals when performing their duties in accordance with the law.
Duties, Obligations, and Rights
Article 7 Procurators have the following duties:
(1) To investigate criminal cases directly accepted by people's procuratorates as provided by law;
(2) To review the requests for detentions and prosecutions involved in criminal cases, and bring public prosecution of these cases on behalf of the State;
(3) To initiate public interest litigation;
(4) To oversee criminal, civil, and administrative litigation; and
(5) Other duties provided by law.
Procurators shall be responsible for the decisions they make on the cases within the scope of their functions and powers.
Article 8 Chief procurators, deputy chief procurators and procuratorial committee members of people's procuratorates shall, in addition to performing their procuratorial duties, undertake other duties commensurate with their posts.
Article 9 Procurators shall work under the leadership of their chief procurator and refer major cases to the chief procurator for decision. The chief procurator can entrust part of his powers to procurators, and may authorize them to issue legal documents.
Article 10 Procurators shall discharge the following obligations:
(1) To strictly observe the Constitution and laws;
(2) To handle cases impartially and not to bend the law for personal gains;
(3) To safeguard the procedural rights of the parties involved and other participants in the proceedings in accordance with the law;
(4) To safeguard the interests of the State and the public and the lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations;
(5) To protect State and procuratorial secrets as well as the trade secrets and individual privacy learned of in the performance of duties;
(6) To accept legal and public oversight in accordance with the law;
(7) To raise public awareness of the rule of law and promote rule-of-law society by handling cases in accordance with the law and interpreting the laws involved in cases; and
(8) To discharge other obligations provided by law.
Article 11 Procurators shall enjoy the following rights:
(1) To have the power and working conditions essential to the performance of their duties;
(2) Not to be transferred, removed, demoted, dismissed, or sanctioned without legally recognized causes or without going through statutory procedures;
(3) To enjoy professional guarantee, welfare and benefits from the performance of duties;
(4) To enjoy personal safety and safety of the property and residence as ensured by law;
(5) To lodge petitions or complaints; and
(6) Other rights provided by law.
Qualifications and Selection
Article 12 Procurators must meet the following requirements:
(1) Having the nationality of the People's Republic of China;
(2) Upholding the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the socialist system;
(3) Having political integrity, professional competence, and decent ethics;
(4) Being physically fit to perform their duties;
(5) Having an undergraduate diploma in law and a Bachelor of Laws or a higher degree in law from a college or university; having an undergraduate diploma or above in non-law specialties from a college or university as well as having received master's degree in law or jurisprudence or above; or having an undergraduate diploma or above in non-law specialties from a college or university as well as having an relevant degree and professional knowledge of law;
(6) Having engaged in legal work for five years. Of these, the number of years engaged in legal work may be shortened to four or three years respectively for those who have obtained a masters in law or jurisprudence, or obtained an LL.D; and
(7) Procurators serving their first post shall have passed the national uniform legal professional qualification examination and obtained the legal professional credential.
In areas where there are real difficulties for the academic requirements specified in Subparagraph (5) of the preceding Paragraph to be met, upon review and confirmation by the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the academic requirements for procurators may be relaxed for a period of time to include bachelor's degrees from universities.
Article 13 The following persons shall not serve as procurators:
(1) Those who have been subjected to criminal punishment for committing a crime;
(2) Those who have been discharged from public office;
(3) Those whose certificates for practice as a lawyer or notary public have been revoked, or have been removed from an arbitration commission; and
(4) Those with other circumstances provided for by law.
Article 14 New procurators are selected by means of both tests and evaluations and in accordance with the criteria of both ability and integrity, and from those with the qualifications for becoming procurators.
Chief procurators of people's procuratorates shall possess legal knowledge and legal practice experience. Deputy chief procurators and procuratorial committee members shall be selected from among procurators, judges, or others with qualifications to be procurators.
Article 15 As necessary for procuratorial work, people's procuratorates may openly select procurators from legal professionals, such as lawyers, educators and researchers of law.
In addition to having the qualifications for serving as procurators, lawyers participating in the aforementioned open selection shall have at least five years in actual practice, have rich practice experience and have a good reputation; educators and researchers of law participating in the open selection shall have an intermediate-level professional title or higher and have been engaged in teaching or research for at least five years, with outstanding capacity for research and corresponding research accomplishments.
Article 16 Provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government shall establish procurator selection committees, responsible for reviewing the professional competence of new procurator candidates.
Members of a provincial-level procurator selection committee shall include procurators of each level of local people's procuratorates, other members of the legal profession, and representatives of relevant parties, of whom not less than one third shall be procurators.
The routine work of a provincial-level procurator selection committee shall be undertaken by an office established within the provincial-level people's procuratorate.
A Supreme People's Procuratorate Procurator Selection Committee shall be established for the selection of Supreme People's Procuratorate procurators, responsible for reviewing the professional competence of the procurator candidates.
Article 17 New procurators shall generally serve in the primary-level people's procuratorates. Procurators of a people's procuratorate at a higher level shall generally be selected from the people's procuratorates at the next lower level; procurators of the Supreme People's Procuratorate and provincial-level people's procuratorates may be selected from the people's procuratorates at the next two levels. Procurators participating in the procurator selection of higher-level people's procuratorates shall have served a number of years in the lower-level people's procuratorate, and have work experience corresponding to the new post.
Appointment and Removal
Article 18 The appointment and removal of procurators shall be handled in accordance with the scope of appointment and removal authority and procedures provided for by the Constitution and laws.
The Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate shall be elected or removed by the National People's Congress; its deputy chief procurators, procuratorial committee members, and procurators shall be appointed or removed by request of the Procurator-General to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
The chief procurator of each level of local people's procuratorates shall be elected or removed by the people's congress at that level, and their deputy chief procurators, procuratorial committee members, and procurators shall be appointed or removed by request of the chief procurators to the standing committee of the people's congress at that level.
The appointment and removal of the chief procurators of each level of local people's procuratorates shall be reported to the chief procurator of the people's procuratorate at the next higher level, who shall submit the matter to the standing committee of the people's congress at that next higher level for approval.
The chief procurators, deputy chief procurators, and procuratorial committee members, and procurators of the branches of the people's procuratorates of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government shall be appointed or removed by request of the procurator of the people's procuratorate of the province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the central government to the standing committee of that level of people's congress.
The chief procurators, deputy chief procurators, and procuratorial committee members, and procurators of the dispatched offices establishes in accordance with law by the provincial-level people's procuratorates and by the people's procuratorates of cities divided into districts shall be appointed or removed by, upon request of the chief procurator of the establishing people's procuratorate, the standing committee of the people's congress at that level.
The chief procurators, deputy chief procurators, and procuratorial committee members, and procurators of the people's procuratorates of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and specialized people's procuratorates at all levels shall be appointed and removed in accordance with relevant provisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
Article 19 After procurators are selected in accordance with the statutory procedure, they shall take a constitutional oath publicly when taking office.
Article 20 Where a procurator has any of the following circumstances, a proposal shall be made to request his removal from the procuratorial post in accordance with the law:
(1) Where he has forfeited the nationality of the People's Republic of China;
(2) Where he has been transferred out of the people's procuratorate where he held a position;
(3) Where changes in his position does not require him to retain the position of procurator, or he personally requests to be removed from a position as procurator and it is approved;
(4) Where he is evaluated as incompetent as a procurator;
(5) Where he cannot perform his duties for a long time due to illness;
(6) Where he retires;
(7) Where he resigns or should be discharged in accordance with the law; or
(8) Where he is unsuited to hold office due to violation of disciplines or laws.
Article 21 Where an elected chief procurator of a people's procuratorate does not possess the qualifications provided for by this Law, or he is elected in violation of the statutory procedure, the chief procurator of the people's procuratorate at the next higher level shall have the right to request the standing committee of the people's congress at that level for disapproval.
Article 22 Where a procurator is found to have been appointed in violation of the conditions provided for by this Law, the organ that appointed him shall revoke the appointment. Where the people's procuratorate at a higher level finds that the appointment of a procurator of the people's procuratorate at a lower level violates the conditions provided for by this Law, it shall require the people's procuratorate at the lower level to submit a request to the appointing organ for revoking the appointment in accordance with the law.
Article 23 Procurators shall not concurrently serve as members of the standing committees of people's congresses, hold posts in administrative, supervisory or adjudicative organs, enterprises, or other for-profit organizations or public institutions, or serve as lawyers, arbitrators, or notaries public.
Article 24 Procurators who are connected by husband-wife relationship, lineal consanguinity, collateral consanguinity within three generations, or close affinity, shall not assume the following posts at the same time:
(1) The chief procurator, deputy chief procurators, or procuratorial committee members at the same people's procuratorate;
(2) The chief procurator, deputy chief procurators, or procurator at the same people's procuratorate;
(3) Procurators in the same division; or
(4) Chief procurators or deputy chief procurators of people's procuratorates at the levels next to each other.
Article 25 Where a procurator's spouse, parent or child falls under any of the following circumstances, he shall recuse himself:
(1) Serving as a partner or founder of a law firm within the jurisdiction of the people's procuratorate at which the procurator works; or
(2) Serving as an agent ad litem or defender in the capacity of a lawyer, or providing other paid legal services to parties in a lawsuit, within the jurisdiction of the people's procuratorate at which the procurator works.
Article 26 Procurators shall be subjected to staff quota management. The staff quota of procurators is determined based on the number of cases, the level of economic and social development, the population, and the level of people's procuratorates. Total staffing control and dynamic management shall be implemented in provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government, whilst top priority be given to the case handling needs of the primary-level people's procuratorates and the people's procuratorates with big caseloads handling.
Procurator post vacancies shall be filled in accordance with procedures in a timely manner.
The number of the procurator posts of the Supreme People's Procuratorate shall be determined by the Supreme People's Procuratorate in consultation with relevant departments.
Article 27 Procurators shall be subject to a separate ranking system.
Procurators shall be divided into 12 grades, which, in the order of seniority, are Chief Grand Procurator, Class I Grand Procurator, Class II Grand Procurator, Class I Senior Procurator, Class II Senior Procurator, Class III Senior Procurator, Class IV Senior Procurator, Class I Procurator, Class II Procurator, Class III Procurator, Class IV Procurator, and Class V Procurator.
Article 28 The Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate is the Chief Grand Procurator.
Article 29 The grades of procurators shall be determined based on their ethical integrity, professional competence, practical work performance, and seniority, etc.
Procurators are promoted on a regular basis or merits, and those handling frontline cases who excel or are indispensable may be promoted through special selection.
Article 30 The State shall separately provide the measures for establishing and determining procurators' grades and the measures for procurators' promotion.
Article 31 New procurators shall be given pre-service training.
Article 32 Political, theoretical, and professional training for procurators shall be carried out in a planned way.
The principles of integrating theory with practice, giving lectures in light of the needs and emphasizing practical results shall be applied in procurator training.
Article 33 The training results of procurators shall be a basis for their appointment and promotion.
Article 34 Procurator training institutions shall undertake the task of training procurators in accordance with relevant regulations.
Article 35 Where a procurator applies for resignation, he shall present an application in written form. After the application is approved, he shall be removed from his post in accordance with the procedure provided for by law.
Article 36 A procurator shall be removed from office in accordance with the procedure provided for by law.
The dismissal of a procurator shall be decided in accordance with the management authority, and the decision shall be delivered in writing to the procurator in question with the reasons and grounds for the dismissal specified therein.
Article 37 A procurator shall not act as an agent ad litem or a defender in the capacity of a lawyer within two years of leaving his post at a people's procuratorate.
After leaving his post at a people's procuratorate, a procurator shall not act as an agent ad litem or defender in the cases handled by that people's procuratorate, except for acting as the representative in a lawsuit, or defending a case, as the guardian or close relative of the party concerned.
After being dismissed, a procurator shall not act as an agent ad litem or defender, except for acting as the representative in a lawsuit, or defending a case, as the guardian or close relative of the party concerned.
Article 38 To meet the need of his work, and upon the appointment or approval of the people's procuratorate he works for, a procurator may assist in practical teaching and research work in institutions of higher learning or research institutes in compliance with relevant State regulations.
Appraisal, Awards, and Disciplinary Actions
Article 39 A people's procuratorate shall establish a procurator appraisal board to take charge of the appraisal of its procurators.
Article 40 A procurator appraisal board shall have five to nine members.
The chief procurator of a people's procuratorate shall be the chairperson of the procurator appraisal board.
Article 41 Appraisal of procurators shall be thorough, objective and impartial and be carried out on a routine and annual basis.
Article 42 Appraisal of procurators includes their practical work performance, professional ethics, professional competence, working ability and conduct. Emphasis shall be laid on practical work performance.
Article 43 Annual appraisal results shall consist of four grades, i.e., excellent, competent, basically competent, and incompetent.
A procurator's appraisal result shall be the basis of grade and salary adjustment and the giving of award, punishment, removal, demotion, or dismissal.
Article 44 A procurator's appraisal result shall be delivered to him in writing. Where the procurator disagrees with the results, he may apply for a review.
Article 45 The procurators who have made significant achievements and contributions in their work, or performed other outstanding deeds shall be awarded.
Article 46 The procurators who have any of the following achievements to their credit shall be awarded:
(1) Having made notable achievements in enforcing laws impartially;
(2) Having gained outstanding practical procuratorial experience, which can be a good guide to procuratorial work;
(3) Having made remarkable contributions to and achievements in handling of major cases or emergencies, or undertaking special, important tasks ;
(4) Having made proposals for procuratorial reform, which have been adopted with remarkable results;
(5) Having made procuratorial proposals that have been adopted or having promoted the rule of law and resolved disputes with remarkable results; or
(6) Having performed other meritorious deeds.
Awards shall be granted to procurators in accordance with relevant regulations.
Article 47 A procurator who has committed any of the following acts shall be given sanctions. Where the case constitutes a crime, he shall be investigated for criminal liability.
(1) Having engaged in embezzlement, acceptance of bribes, bending the laws for personal gains, or extorting confessions by torture;
(2) Having concealed, falsified, altered, or intentionally damaged evidence or case documents;
(3) Having divulged State secrets, procuratorial secrets, trade secrets or personal privacy;
(4) Having intentionally violated laws and regulations in handling cases;
(5) Having wrongly handled a case and caused heavy losses due to gross negligence;
(6) Having delayed the handling of a case and affected work adversely;
(7) Having abused his powers to seek personal gain for himself or for others;
(8) Having accepted the illegal transfer of interests from a party or the party's agent, or met with a party or the party's agent in violation of relevant regulations;
(9) Having engaged or participated in for-profit activities in violation of relevant regulations or concurrently holding posts in enterprises or other for-profit organizations; or
(10) Having committed other acts in violation of disciplines or laws.
The sanction of a procurator shall be imposed in accordance with relevant regulations.
Article 48 Where a procurator is not fit to continue work because he is suspected of violating disciplines or laws and has been placed on file for investigation, he shall be suspended from work in accordance with the management authority and prescribed procedures.
Article 49 The Supreme People's Procuratorate and the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government shall set up procurator disciplinary boards, which are dedicated to investigating and identifying in terms of professionalism the violations of the procuratorial duties as prescribed in Subparagraphs(4) and (5) in Article 47 of this Law, and render decisions such as intentional breach of duties, gross negligence, ordinary negligence or no breach of duties. After a procurator disciplinary board renders a decision, the people's procuratorate shall, in accordance with relevant provisions, decide on whether or not to impose punishment and deal with the matter accordingly.
A procurator disciplinary board shall be composed of procurators, other members of the legal profession, and representatives of relevant parties, at least half of whom shall be procurators.
The daily work of the procurator disciplinary board of the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the provincial-level procurator disciplinary boards shall be undertaken by the internal functional departments of relevant people's procuratorates.
Article 50 When a procurator disciplinary board reviews disciplinary matters, the procurator in question is entitled to apply for the interested persons recusing themselves, and to make statements, provide evidence and defend himself.
Article 51 The decision rendered by a procurator disciplinary board shall be delivered to the procurator concerned. Where the procurator in question disagrees with the decision, he may voice his objection to the procurator disciplinary board, which shall review the objection and the reasons thereof, and make a decision.
Article 52 The specific procedure by which the procurator disciplinary boards review disciplinary matters shall be determined by the Supreme People's Procuratorate in consultation with the relevant departments.
Article 53 People's procuratorates shall set up boards to protect the legitimate rights and interests of their procurators, and ensure that they perform their duties in accordance with the law.
Article 54 A procurator shall not be transferred from his procuratorial post, except in the following circumstances:
(1) Where he needs to recuse himself from the post in accordance with regulations;
(2) Where he is transferred to another post in accordance with regulations;
(3) Where adjustment of his post is required where his institution is restructured, abolished, or merged, or cuts its staffing and number of procurators;
(4) Where he is unfit for a procuratorial post due to violation of disciplines or laws; and
(5) Where other circumstances provided by law occur.
Article 55 No entity or individual shall require procurators to engage in any matter beyond the scope of their statutory functions and duties hereof.
The procurators shall be entitled to refuse and fully and truthfully record and report any act that interferes with their handling of cases; in case of any violation of disciplines or laws, relevant authorities shall, in light of the seriousness of the case, hold the relevant persons accountable.
Article 56 The professional dignity and personal safety of procurators is protected by law.
No entity or individual shall retaliate against procurators or their close relatives.
Applicable heavier punishment shall be imposed in accordance with the law upon unlawful and criminal acts against procurators or their close relatives, such as retaliation or making false charges, or insults and slander, use of violence, threats and intimidation, or provocation or harassment.
Article 57 Where the reputation of a procurator is damaged due to false reports, false accusations, defamation or slander for performing his duties in accordance with the law, the people's procuratorate shall, in conjunction with relevant departments, promptly clarify facts, eliminate the negative impact, and hold the relevant entities or individuals accountable in accordance with the law.
Article 58 Where the personal safety of a procurator or his or her close relatives is at risk due to performance of his or her duties in accordance with the law, the people's procuratorate or public security organ shall take necessary measures such as to protect the personal safety of the procurator and his close relatives, and to prohibit certain persons from approaching them.
Article 59 Procurators shall be subject to a salary system in which they receive salaries and benefits commensurate with their duties and based on their grades, as are provided by the State, and have salary increases in step with those of civil servants.
The salary system for procurators shall be established by the State based on the characteristics of procuratorial work.
Article 60 Procurators shall receive salary increases on a regular basis.
The salary of a procurator who has been confirmed through annual appraisal as being excellent or competent may be raised in accordance with regulations .
Article 61 Procurators are entitled to subsidies, allowances, bonuses, insurance benefits, and other forms of benefits as prescribed by the State.
Article 62 Where a procurator becomes disabled while on duty, he shall enjoy the benefits provided by the State for the disabled. Where a procurator died on duty or of illness, his relatives shall enjoy the pension and other benefits from the State.
Article 63 The retirement system for procurators shall be established by the State based on the characteristics of procuratorial work.
Article 64 Retired procurators are entitled to the pension and other benefits provided by the State.
Article 65 A procurator has the right to make a complaint against an act of a State organ or any of its functionaries commits infringing upon the procurators' rights specified in Article 11 of this Law.
Article 66 Where a sanction or personnel-related decision is wrongly imposed upon a procurator, corrections shall be made without delay. Where the procurator's reputation has been damaged thereby, his reputation shall be rehabilitated, the ill effects shall be eliminated, and an apology shall be made; where financial losses are caused to the procurator, compensation shall be made. The persons who are directly responsible for retaliation shall be held accountable in accordance with the law.
Article 67 The State implements a uniform legal professional qualification examination system for new procurators, which is organized and implemented by the judicial administrative department under the State Council in consultation with the Supreme People's Procuratorate and other relevant departments.
Article 68 Procurators' assistants of people's procuratorates shall be responsible for procuratorial support matters, such as examination of case materials and drafting of legal documents, under the guidance of procurators.
People's procuratorates shall strengthen the cultivation of procurators' assistants, for the purpose of selecting talent for procurators.
Article 69 Where this Law already provides for the rights, obligations, and administration systems for procurators, the provisions of this Law shall apply; in the absence of any provisions in this Law, the relevant laws and regulations on the administration of civil servants shall apply.
Article 70 This Law shall come into force as of October 1, 2019.