The people’s courts are the judicial organs of the state. The Supreme People’s Court is established at the state level; higher people’s courts are established in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities; and intermediate and basic people’s courts at lower levels. The Supreme People’s Court, the highest state judicial organ, is responsible to the NPC and its Standing Committee, and supervises the judicial work of the local people’s courts, military courts and other special courts. The current president of the Supreme People’s Court is Xiao Yang.
The people’s courts try all cases publicly, except those involving state secrets, individual privacy or minors. The accused has the right to defense. Besides the right to defend himself/herself, he or she may also be represented by a lawyer or ask close relatives or guardians to defend him/her.