The 1976 constitution establishes the People's Supreme Court, consisting of a president, vice president, and other judges, as the highest judicial tribunal. All members of the court are elected by the National Assembly, as are the attorney general and deputy attorneys general. Through its Governing Council, the court proposes laws, issues regulations, and makes decisions that must be implemented by the people's courts, whose judges are elected by the municipal assemblies. There are also seven regional courts of appeal, as well as district courts with civil and criminal jurisdiction. Military tribunals assume jurisdiction for certain counterrevolutionary cases.
Although the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, the courts are subordinate to the National Assembly and the Council of State.
There are no jury trials. Most trials are public. The legal system is based on Spanish and American law influenced with communist legal theory.