Recently, the Supreme People's Court ("SPC") issued the Provisions on the Procedures for Hearing Commutation or Parole Cases (the "Provisions"), which shall take effect as of June 1, 2014.

According to the Provisions, when hearing a criminal's commutation or parole case, a people's court shall, in addition to investigating the criminal's consistent performance during the term of execution of his sentence, comprehensively take into consideration the specific circumstances of the crime committed by the criminal, the criminal penalty under the original judgment, the execution of the property-related penalty against the criminal, the criminal's performance of the incidental civil judgment, and the returning of what the criminal has unlawfully taken or the paying of compensation therefor. In addition, rulings on commutation or parole cases shall be disclosed to the public through the internet.

The Provisions further regulate issues such as the participants, venue, procedures, etc. for the court hearing of a commutation or parole case, and specify six types of commutation or parole cases for which a people's court shall hold a court hearing.