SPC Interpretation on Consumer Civil Public Interest Litigation Cases

ALL TRANSLATIONS ON THIS SITE ARE UNOFFICIAL AND ARE PROVIDED FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES ONLY. THESE TRANSLATIONS ARE CREATED AND CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED BY USERS --THEY ARE FREE TO VIEW, BUT PROPER ATTRIBUTION IS REQUIRED FOR DISTRIBUTION OF THESE OR DERIVATIVE TRANSLATIONS.
Title: Supreme People's Court Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Trial of Public Interest Consumer Civil Litigation Cases
Promulgating Entities:Supreme People's Court
Reference number: Legal Interpretation [2016] No. 10
Promulgation Date: 2016-4-24
Expiration date: 
Source of text: http://www.chinacourt.org/law/detail/2016/04/id/148690.shtml

 

Supreme People's Court Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Trial of Public Interest Consumer Civil Litigation Cases

Legal Interpretation [2016] No. 10

The Supreme People's Court Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Trial of Public Interest Consumer Civil Litigation Cases, having been passed by the 1677th Meeting of the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People's Court on February 1, 2016, is hereby released, to take effect on May 1, 2016.

Supreme People's Court

April 24, 2016

The following Interpretation is drafted for the correct hearing of public interest consumer civil litigation cases, on the basis of the "P.R.C. Civil Procedure Law ", the "The P.R.C. Tort Liability Law" , the "P.R.C. Law on the Protection of Consumers' Rights and Interests" and other relevant laws and regulations combined with trial experience.

Article 1: This interpretation applies to public interest consumer civil lawsuits raised by the China Consumers' Association or consumer associations set up by the provinces, autonomous regions, and directly governed municipalities, regarding proprietors' violations of the lawful rights and interests of unspecified members of the consumer public or regarding proprietor's conduct harmful to the public interest such as endangering consumers' persons or property.

This Interpretation applies to consumer public interest civil litigation raised by organs and social organizations designated by law or authorized by the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee.

Article 2: In any of the following circumstances, Article 47 of the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests applies to the goods and services provided by proprietors:

(1) The goods or services provided are flawed, violating the lawful rights and interests of unspecified members of the consumer public;

(2) The goods or services provided might endanger the safety of consumers' persons or property, and truthful explanations and clear warnings have not been made, and not explaining and indicating the correct methods for using goods or for receiving services as well as methods for preventing damage; or had false or misleading promotion regarding information such as the quality, character, use, effective period of goods or services;

(3) Hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, banks, airports, stations, ports, cinemas and theaters, scenic spots, entertainment venues and other sites of business operation contain danger that endangers the safety of consumers' persons or property;

(4) Form agreements, notices, declarations, on-site posters, or other means, are used to eliminate or restrict consumer rights, to reduce or avoid the responsibilities of proprietors, to increase the responsibilities of consumers, or to make other such unreasonable and unfair rules against consumers;

(5) Other conduct that violates the lawful rights and interests of unspecified members of the consumer public or is harmful to the public interest such as endangering consumers' persons or property.

Article 3: Jurisdiction over consumer public interest civil lawsuits applies the relevant provisions of Article 285 of the "Supreme People's Court Interpretation on the Application of the 'Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China'" .

Upon approval from the Supreme People’s Court, High People’s Courts may, on the basis of the actual situation in their jurisdictions, designate some of the Intermediate People’s Courts in their jurisdiction to accept consumer public interest civil litigation cases.

Article 4: The following materials shall be submitted in initiating consumer public interest civil litigation:

(1) A Complaint meeting the requirements of Civil Procedure Law article 121, and copies corresponding to the number of defendants;

(2) Preliminary evidence that the defendants' conduct violated the lawful rights and interests of unspecified members of the consumer public or is conduct harmful to the public interest such as that endangering consumers' persons or property;

(3) Evidentiary material that the consumer association has fulfilled its public interest responsibilities according to the provisions of items 4 and 5 of Article 37 of the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests regarding matters related to the litigation.

Article 5: Where a people's courts find that the demands a plaintiff has submitted are insufficient to protect the public interest, it may make interpretative changes or add demands such as for stopping the infringing behavior.

Article 6: After people's courts accept a consumer public interest civil litigation case, they shall publicly announce the acceptance of the case, and inform the relevant administrative regulatory department in writing within 10 days of filing the case.

Article 7: After people's courts accept a consumer public interest civil case, other organs or social organizations with standing may apply to the people's court of the first-instance to participate in the lawsuit.

Where people's courts permit the participation, they are listed as joint-plaintiffs; but applications made beyond the allowed time are not permitted.

Article 8: Organs or social organizations with the right to file consumer public interest litigation may, in accordance with Article 81 of the Civil Procedure Law, apply for the preservation of evidence.

Article 9: After people's courts accept a consumer public interest civil case, consumers applying to participate in the lawsuit on the basis of the same violative acts should be informed of their rights to make claims under Article 119 of the Civil Procedure Law.

Article 10: After a consumer public interest civil lawsuit is accepted, where consumers harmed by the same violative conduct request the discontinuation of lawsuits raised in accordance with the provisions of Article 119 of the Civil Procedure Law, the people's court may grant their requests.

Article 11: Where in the course of trial of consumer public interest civil lawsuits, the defendants submit a counterclaim, the people's courts will not accept it.

Article 12: Where, during the course of a lawsuit, the plaintiff concedes adverse facts, but the people's court finds it harmful to the public interest, it will not confirm those facts.

Article 13: Where plaintiffs in consumer public interest civil lawsuits request that defendants bear civil responsibility, such as to cease infringement, remove obstacles, eliminate dangers, or make formal apologies, the people's courts may support their requests.

Where proprietors use form agreements or notices, declarations, on-site posters and the like, to eliminate or restrict consumer rights, to reduce or avoid the responsibilities of proprietors, and to increase the responsibilities of consumers, and the plaintiff argues that this is void as unreasonable and unfair to consumers, the people's courts shall support it.

Article 14: After the judgment in a consumer public interest civil case becomes effective, the people's courts shall inform the relevant administrative regulatory department in writing within 10 days, and may issue a judicial recommendation.

Article 15: Where after a judgment has taken effect in a consumer public interest civil case, other organs or social organizations with standing as plaintiffs separately file a public interest civil consumer lawsuit on the same violative acts, the people's courts shall not accept it.

Article 16: Where facts were already affirmed by an effective judgment in a public interest consumer civil litigation case, and a consumer initiates litigation under Civil Procedure Law article 119 arising from the same violation, neither the plaintiff nor the defendant need to present proofs of those facts except where a party objects and has counter evidence sufficient to overturn it.

Where an effective judgment in a consumer public interest civil case affirms that a proprietor exhibited unlawful conduct, and a consumer harmed by those same violative acts initiates litigation under Civil Procedure Law article 119 and the plaintiff's advocate application of that judgment, people's courts may support it, except where the defendant has counter evidence sufficient to overturn it.

Article 17: Where the plaintiff incurred costs in employing reasonable prevention and handling measures to stop infringement, clear obstructions or eliminate risks, and makes a demand fo the defendant to bear these costs, the people's court may support it.

Article 18: Depending on the actual circumstances, people's courts may support reasonable fees, appraisal fees, and reasonable attorney fees incurred during the course of investigating and obtaining evidence of the violative acts by the plaintiffs and their agent ad litem.

Article 19: This Interpretation shall take effect on May 1, 2016.

This Interpretation applies to first-instance trial cases accepted by the people's courts after this Interpretation takes effect.

This interpretation is not applied to cases of first-instance or second-instance trial that were already accepted by people's courts before this interpretation took effect where trial was not yet completed after the interpretation took effect, or where trial was concluded before this interpretation took effect, but parties applications for a retrial or a retrial is heard in accordance with trial supervision procedures.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tip Us!

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Das reformierte Verbraucherschutzgesetz Chinas : Freilaw – Freiburg Law Students Journal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*