I notice there are names of institutions like "XX高级人民法院", which make me wonder what kind of people can be classified as 高级人民?

  • 1
    Should be XX高级/人民法院 instead of XX高级人民/法院. It has something to do with Communist terminology, e.g. 人民大学(People's University)、人民法院(People's Court)、人民共和国(People's Republic).
    – user
    Dec 16, 2022 at 18:27
  • 高级 -> [人民] 法院, 高级 modify court, not 人民. That is dangerous, I think it can be used in a standup comedy.
    – sfy
    Dec 17, 2022 at 14:00
  • 1
    So, what French is considered high-class in "High-class French restaurant"?
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 18, 2022 at 2:15

3 Answers 3


XX高级"人民法院" = xx upper "peoples court" = xx upper court (in US). "人民" is, as always in China, used to indicate it is dedicated to the "people", such as 中國"人民解放軍". "高级" indicates the rank of this "人民法院" in the justice system.


人民法院 is a single noun made up of an adjectival noun (人民) and a normal noun 法院 (court)

人民法院 = "The People (mandated) Court"

高级 (high level) is an adjective for the noun 人民法院 (The People Court) that indicates its rank in the judicial system

The term "人民"(the people) is often used in China's government organizations to indicate it is "people-mandated" = democratic, legitimate, and official

  • Some courts in China do not have 人民 attached, for example, 南宁铁路运输法院. Dec 18, 2022 at 3:14
  • @NanningYouth Courts do not have 人民 means "internal courts", they only handle issues related to the railroad department.
    – sfy
    Dec 18, 2022 at 14:51

Rule of thumb: if you see YY人民XX as the name of an establishment, it is nearly always YY(人民XX), People's XX of YY. No matter what you throw in YY, they nearly always modify People's XX.

Example: 中国人民银行 = People's Bank of China. 中国人民解放军 People's Liberation Army of China.

A little extra info:

The court hierarchy is roughly like this (shamelessly plagiarized from Wikipedia)

Local people's courts—the courts of the first instance—handle criminal and civil cases. These people's courts make up the remaining three levels of the court system and consist of "high people's courts" at the level of the provinces, autonomous regions, and special municipalities; "intermediate people's courts" at the level of prefectures, autonomous prefectures, and municipalities; and "primary people's courts" at the level of autonomous counties, towns, and municipal districts.

Put simply, you usually start at a certain level, either 基层人民法院,中级人民法院 (I'm no lawyer so I don't know whether you can start at 高级人民法院), depending on the severity, consequences, type, etc. of your case. Most cases are resolved there, but if you don't, you appeal to a higher court in the hierarchy.

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