If a local People’s Procuratorate at any level believes that there has been a definite error in a judgment or order of first instance made by a People’s Court, it shall present a protest to the People’s Court at the next higher level.
If the victim or his legal representative refuses to accept a judgment of first instance made by a local People’s Court at any level, he shall, within five days from the date of receiving the written judgment, have the right to request the People’s Procuratorate to present a protest.
The People’s Procuratorate shall, within five days from the date of receiving the request made by the victim or his legal representative, decide whether to present the protest or not, and give a reply.
The defendant, the private prosecutor (citizen prosecutor in certain small criminal matters not pressed by the state) or their legal representatives are qualified Appellants.
If the defendants or the private prosecutors are juveniles or mentally disabled, so that they can’t participate in the procedure normally, their legal representatives shall be entitled to decide whether to appeal on their own discretions. Defense counsel or near relatives of the defendant may, with the consent of the defendant, file an appeal.
Time Limit for Appeals
The time limit for an appeal or a protest against a judgment shall be 10 days and the time limit for an appeal or a protest against an order shall be five days; the time limit shall be counted from the day after the written judgment or order is received.
The Scope and Methods of Appeal Procedure
A People’s Court of second instance shall conduct a complete review of the facts determined and the application of law in the judgment of first instance and shall not be limited by the scope of appeal or protest.
A People’s Court of second instance shall form a collegial panel and open a court session to hear a case of appeal. However, if after consulting the case file, interrogating the defendant and heeding the opinions of the other parties, defense counsel and agents ad litem, the collegial panel thinks the criminal facts are clear, it may decide not to open a court session.
However, a People’s Court of second instance must open a court session and form a collegial panel under the following circumstances:
- Cases protested by a People’s Procuratorate; or
- The defendant, private prosecutor or their legal representatives file objections to the facts and evidences admitted by the first instance court which might affect the sentence of the criminal; or
- Cases in which the criminals might be sentenced to death.
In the trial of a case appealed by a defendant, the People’s Court of second instance may not increase the criminal sentence on the defendant. If appealed by the prosecutor, an increase in the sentence is possible.