The Multi-hearing Trial System
China's trial system follows a two-hearing system in the trial process. The entire system of people's courts constitutes a four-level, two-hearing process. When litigants are not satisfied with the verdict made by any of the local people's courts at various levels after the court has gone through a first-hearing trial of the case within its jurisdiction, they may appeal to a court of the immediate higher level within the time limit prescribed by law. The court at the next higher level reviews the appeal and passes its judgment which constitutes the verdict of the second hearing. According to the trial system, the verdict of the second hearing is the final decision against which the litigant shall not appeal. The SPC is China's highest trial organ and all of its decisions on the first- and second-hearing cases are final and shall be enforced once they are promulgated.