• C. H. (Remco) van RheeEmail author
  • Yulin Fu
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 59)


When can a court be classified as a supreme court? This question is rarely asked in discussions about supreme courts, which is surprising. Very often it is assumed that courts high up in the judicial hierarchy that produce influential case law can be classified as such, but obviously more is needed if one uses the notion ‘supreme’. This introduction discusses some of the additional requirements that need to be met in order to classify a court as ‘supreme’ as well as the access filters that have been introduced in various jurisdictions in order to allow supreme courts to concentrate on their main tasks. The starting point of the discussion is the Chinese Supreme People's Court in relation to a selection of Western supreme courts.


Lower Court Supreme Court Preliminary Ruling Legal Question Constitutional Court 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. P. Yessiou-Faltsi (ed.), The Role of the Supreme Courts at the National and International Level, Thessaloniki: Sakkoulas, 1998, and especially the general report by J. A. Jolowicz, pp. 37–63Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtNetherlands
  2. 2.Peking University School of LawHaidian District, BeijingChina

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