(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 10, 2008, Xiao Yang, President and Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court of China (SPC) delivered the 2008 SPC Work Report to the First Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC). (Zuigao Renmin Fayuan Gongzuo Baogao, XINHUA, http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-03/22/content_7837838.htm (last visited Apr. 3, 2008).) According to the Work Report, the case load of Chinese courts has increased in the past five years compared with the previous five-year period. The SPC heard 20,451 cases, a 0.78% increase over the previous five years. The local courts heard 31.784 million cases, up 1.59%. In the past five years, moreover, the SPC circulated 85 judicial interpretations and another 180 judicial directive documents and published 169 model cases to direct the lower-level courts national wide.
On March 16, 2008, during the same NPC meeting, the new President and Chief Justice of the SPC, Wang Shengjun, was elected. (Wang Shengjun Elected China's Top Judge, XINHUA, Mar. 16, 2008, available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/16/content_7799387.htm.) Born in 1946, Wang graduated from college with a major in history. From 1993 to 2008, he worked in different positions on the Communist Party of China's Central Politics and Law Committee. (Wang Shengjun – President of Supreme People's Court [a biography of Wang, in English], XINHUA, Mar. 16, 2008, available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/16/content_7799704.htm.)