The judicial administration is an important component of the state apparatus and a major functional department of the government. It is responsible for administering judicial execution and managing laws and regulations.
Organizationally, the Ministry of Justice supervises all the judicial departments across the country; local judicial authorities are subordinate to superior judicial authorities and to the government at the same level.
Main responsibilities of judicial authorities include:
1. Manage Reform-through-labor and Reeducation-through-labor Institutions
- Organize and lead reform-through-labor and reeducation-through-labor work;
- Set the location of jails and reformatories and placement of prisoners and inmates;
- Direct, supervise and inspect prisons and reformatories and accurately implement policies and guidelines for reform- and re-education-through-labor work;
- Propose or review decisions concerning reform- or re-education-through-labor;
- Draft and review long-term plans and annual plans;
- Direct jails and reformatories to improve management;
- Sum up and promote advanced practices in reform- and re-education-through-labor;
- Inspect and handle major incidents that take place at jails or reformatories;
- Mete out disciplinary penalties for wardens who violate laws or discipline;
- Manage, inspect, train and promote officers at jails and reformatories.
2. Regulate Lawyers
- Supervise and direct lawyers, law firms and bar associations;
- Review constitutions of bar associations;
- Handle applications for taking part in lawyers qualification examination and administer the examination;
- Confer lawyer's qualifications and licenses;
- Determine the setup of law firms and the development of lawyers;
- Draft rules for legal assistance;
- Penalize lawyers who breach professional discipline, including revoking qualifications of those who are seriously incompetent;
- Develop rules for lawyers to charge fees;
- Sum up and promote good practices of lawyers;
- Draft development plans for the legal profession.
3. Regulate Public Notaries
- Supervise public notaries;
- Determine the setup of public notary offices, the staffing, organization and examination of public notaries;
- Appoint and remove the director and deputy director of public notary offices;
- Supervise fee-charging and expenditures by public notaries;
- Perform disciplinary inspections of public notaries;
- Sum up and promote good practices of public notaries.
4. Manage Training of Judicial Officials
- Draft guidelines for training judicial officials and develop training plans;
- Direct the operation of political and law schools, including training of faculty and developing of textbooks;
- Sum up and promote good practices in training.
5. Manage Legal Education
- Set the direction of legal education, draft development plans, coordinate legal education nationwide, and collaborate with the Ministry of Education in supervising legal education across the country;
- Appoint and remove leading officials of political and law schools affiliated with the Ministry of Justice, review and approve capital expenditures and major expenditures of those schools, determine the setup of programs, enrolment and placement of graduates;
- Take the lead in developing textbooks for legal education across the country.
6. Direct People's Mediation Committees
- Manage the organizational, ideological and operational buildup of People's Mediation Committees and direct them in their mediation work;
- Study causes, characteristics and patterns of civil disputes and propose ways to prevent such disputes;
- Publicize policies, laws and ethics;
- Sum up and promote good practices in mediation.
7. Promote Public Awareness of Rule of Law
This includes collaboration with relevant departments in launching publicity campaigns, introducing legal courses into schools and publishing legal periodicals and books.
8. Supervise Foreign Affairs of Judicial Departments.
The Ministry of Justice supervises all foreign affairs of the country's judicial organs. This entails determination of direction, scope and forms of foreign affairs and logistical arrangements; sending delegations to visit abroad and attend international conferences; receiving foreign visitors and briefing them on China's legal developments; conducting international legal assistance.
9. Supervise Theory-building and Research in Judicial Administration
- Define the organizational setup and missions of research institutions in the judicial apparatus;
- Draft laws, regulations and rules concerning judicial administration;
- Study issues related to judicial administration, crimes (particularly juvenile delinquency).