PRC Civil Procedure Law (Draft Revisions) Pre/Post Revision Table

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There are changes to all listed sections, more complete changes are indicated in green.

Pre-RevisionPost-Revision
Part I: General ProvisionsPart I: General Provisions
Chapter I: Purpose, Scope of Application, and Basic PrinciplesChapter I: Purpose, Scope of Application, and Basic Principles
Article 16: Where civil procedure activity is conducted online through information network platforms, it has the same legal effect as offline activity.
Chapter III: Trial OrganizationsChapter III: Trial Organizations
Article 39: When trying a civil case of the first instance, a people's court shall form a collegial panel consisting of both judges and people's assessors or of judges alone. The collegial panel must have an odd number of members.

Civil cases to which the summary procedure is applied shall be tried by a single judge alone. When performing their duties as jurors, the jurors shall have the same powers and obligations as the judges.

Article 40: When trying a civil case of the first instance, a people's court shall form a collegial panel consisting of both judges and people's assessors or of judges alone. The collegial panel must have an odd number of members.

Civil cases to which the summary procedure is applied shall be tried by a single judge alone. Basic-level people courts trying cases first-instance cases where the facts, rights, and obligations are clear may be tried by a single judge alone applying the ordinary procedures.

When performing their duties as jurors, the jurors shall have the same powers and obligations as the judges.

Article 40: When trying a civil case of the second instance, a people's court shall form a collegiate panel of judges. The collegiate panel must have an odd number of members.

When trying a case remanded for retrial, the people's court that originally tried the case shall form a new collegiate panel in accordance with the procedure at first instance.

Where a case to be retried was originally tried at first instance, a new collegiate bench shall be formed in accordance with the procedure at first instance; where the case was originally tried at second instance or was removed to a higher-level people's court for trial, a new collegiate bench shall be formed in accordance with the procedure at second instance.

Article 41: When trying a civil case of the second instance, a people's court shall form a collegiate panel of judges. The collegiate panel must have an odd number of members.

Intermediate or special people's courts may have a single judge conduct trial alone for second instance cases where the summary procedures were applied to complete the first-instance trial or where an appeal was made due to dissatisfaction with a civil ruling, and the facts, rights, and obligations are clear.

When trying a case remanded for retrial, the people's court that originally tried the case shall form a new collegiate panel in accordance with the procedure at first instance.

Where a case to be retried was originally tried at first instance, a new collegiate bench shall be formed in accordance with the procedure at first instance; where the case was originally tried at second instance or was removed to a higher-level people's court for trial, a new collegiate bench shall be formed in accordance with the procedure at second instance.

Article 42: People's courts trying the following cases must not have a single judge try them alone:

(1) Cases that involve national interests or the societal public interest;

(2) Cases that involve group disputes that might impact social stability;

(3) Cases that have broad public attention or otherwise have a larger social impact;

(4) New types of cases, or difficult and complex cases;

(5) Cases where the law provides a collegial panel shall be formed for trial;

(6) Other cases not suited for trial by a single judge.

Article 43: Where people's courts discover that a case is not suited for trial by a single judge during the course of trial, they shall make a ruling to transform it to a collegial panel for trial.

Where parties feel that it violates laws to have a case tried by a single judge alone, they may submit an objection to the people's court. The people's courts shall review parties' objections and transfer the case to be tried by a collegial panel where the objection is sustained, and where the objection is not sustained, they are to rule to reject it.

Chapter VII: Timing and ServiceChapter VII: Timing and Service
Section 2: ServiceSection 2: Service
Article 87: Subject to the consent of the person on which a procedural document is to be served, the document may be served by way of facsimile, electronic mail or any other means through which the receipt of the document may be acknowledged, with the exception of judgments, rulings and mediation statements.

Where a procedural document is served by any of the means listed in the preceding paragraph, the date the faxed or e-mailed document reached the designated system of the party shall be deemed the date of service.

Article 90: Subject to the consent of the person on which a procedural document is to be served, the document may be served by way of facsimile, electronic mail, or any other means through which the receipt of the document may be acknowledged. Where judgments, rulings, and mediation statements are served electronically and the recipient requests a paper document, the people's courts shall provide it.
Where the service recipient provides or confirms an electronic address to the people's court, the date of service is the date on which the information is served on that electronic address. Where the recipient has not provided or confirmed an electronic address to the people's court, the data of service is the date on which receipt can be confirmed.
Article 92: Where the whereabouts of the person to be served are unknown, or a document cannot be served by any other method provided for in this Section, the document is to be served by public announcement. The document is to be deemed to have been served when 60 days have elapsed since the date of the public announcement.

Where service is effected by public announcement, the reasons for doing so and the steps taken shall be recorded in the case file.

Article 95: Where the whereabouts of the person to be served are unknown, or a document cannot be served by any other method provided for in this Section, the document is to be served by public announcement. The document is to be deemed to have been served when 30 days have elapsed since the date of the public announcement

Where service is effected by public announcement, the reasons for doing so and the steps taken shall be recorded in the case file.

Part II: Trial ProceduresPart II: Trial Procedures
Chapter XIII: Summary ProceduresChapter XIII: Summary Procedures
Article 157: The provisions of this Chapter apply, where a basic-level people's court and tribunals dispatched by it try simple civil cases in which the facts, rights, and obligations are clear and the disputes are minor.

Where a basic people's court or a tribunal dispatched by it hears civil cases other than those provided for in the preceding paragraph, the parties may also agree to the application of summary procedures.

Article 160: The provisions of this Chapter apply, where a basic-level people's court and tribunals dispatched by it try simple civil cases in which the facts, rights, and obligations are clear.

Where a basic people's court or a tribunal dispatched by it hears civil cases other than those provided for in the preceding paragraph, the parties may also agree to the application of summary procedures.

Article 162: When trying a simple civil case provided for in Item 1 of Article 157 of this Law, where the amount in question is thirty percent or less of the average annual salary of the employees of all provinces, autonomous regions, directly governed municipalities in the previous year, the basic level people's court or tribunal dispatched by it is to apply the system under which the ruling in the first instance is final.Article 165: When trying a simple civil case for the payment of funds, where the facts,.rights, and obligations are clear, the dispute is not large, and the amount in question is fifty percent or less of the average annual salary of the employees of all provinces, autonomous regions, directly governed municipalities in the previous year, the basic level people's court or tribunal dispatched by it is to apply the small claims system and the ruling in the first instance is final.

Where the amount in question exceeds that provided for in the preceding paragraph, but is three times or less than the average annual salary of the employees of all provinces, autonomous regions, and directly governed municipalities in the previous year, the parties may agree to apply the small claims procedures.

Article 166: The small claims procedures are not to be applied in the following cases:

(1) Disputes over personal relationships or confirmation of property rights;

(2) Civil disputes involving foreign interests;

(3) Disputes that require assessments or evaluations, or in which objections have been raised as to the outcome of assessments and evaluations from before the proceedings;

(4) Disputes in which one party's whereabouts are unknown;

(5) Disputes in which parties raise counterclaims;

(6) Other disputes that are not suited for application of the small claims procedures for trial;

Article 167: In cases applying the small claims procedures for trial, where the parties clearly express waivers of the period for making replies and presenting evidence, the people's courts may directly open court sessions for trial.

Where the defense requests to make a written reply, they shall submit a Reply within 7 days of receiving a copy of the Complaint. Where there are special circumstances, this may be extended to within 15 days from the receipt of a copy of the Complaint upon application to the court.

The period for presenting evidence in small claims procedure cases is to be determined by the people's courts, and may also be determined by agreement of the parties and approval of the people's court, but must not exceed 7 days. Where the parties truly have difficulty presenting evidence during that period, the period for presenting evidence may be extended to 15 days upon an application to the people's court.

Chapter 168: In cases applying the small claims procedures for trial, procedures such as for complaint, response, service, and trial may be simplified and the content of judgments may also be simplified, but the parties procedural rights such as to present evidence, debate evidence, make statements, and debate are to be ensured.

Small claims cases shall normally be concluded after opening a single proceeding at court and have the verdict announced at court, except where the people's court finds it is necessary to open further court proceedings.

Article 169 : Small claims procedures cases shall conclude trial within 2 months of the case being filed. Where there are special circumstances requiring an extension, it may be extended by one month upon the approval of the president of the court.
Article 170 : Where during the course of trial people's courts discover that a case is not suitable for applying the small claims procedures, they shall apply the other provisions of the summary procedures or rule to change the case to ordinary procedures.

Where parties feel that the case does not meet the requirements for applying the summary procedures, they may raise an objection to the people's court. Where, upon review by the people's court, the objection is sustained, the other provisions of the summary procedures shall be applied at trial, or a ruling may be made to change to the ordinary procedures; and where the objection is not sustained, a ruling to reject it is to be made.

Chapter XIV: Second-Instance ProceduresChapter XIV: Second-Instance Procedures
Article 169 : The second instance people's court shall form a collegial panel for the hearing of appeals and hold in-court proceedings. After reviewing the case files, conducting investigations, and questioning the parties, it may decide not to hold in-court proceedings where there are new facts, evidence, or reasons submitted, and the collegial panel finds it is not necessary to hold in-court proceedings.

Second instance people's courts hearing appeals cases may do so within that court and may also do so in the place where the case arose or in the people's court for the earlier trial.

Article 177 : The second instance people's court shall hold in-court proceedings in hearing appeals. After reviewing the case files, conducting investigations, and questioning the parties, it may decide not to hold in-court proceedings where there are new facts, evidence, or reasons submitted, and the collegial panel or sole judge hearing the case finds it is not necessary to hold in-court proceedings.

Second instance people's courts hearing appeals cases may do so within that court and may also do so in the place where the case arose or in the people's court for the earlier trial.

Chapter XV: Special ProceduresChapter XV: Special Procedures
Section 6: Cases Concerning the Confirmation of Mediation Agreements Section 6: Cases Concerning the Confirmation of Mediation Agreements
Article 194: For an application for judicial confirmation of a mediation agreement, the parties are to jointly file an application with the basic people's court where the mediation institution is located, in accordance with the People's Mediation Law and other applicable laws and within 30 days upon of the material mediation agreement becoming effective.Article 202: For applications for judicial confirmation of a mediation agreement formed with a lawfully established mediation organization or a lawfully serving mediator presiding, both parties are to jointly submit it to the following people's courts within 30 days of the mediation agreement taking effect:

(1) Where the people's court invited the mediation organization or mediators to carry out advance mediation, submit it to the people's court that made the invitation;

(2) Where parties applied to mediate with a people's mediation commission, submit it to the basic-level people's court for the area where the people's mediation commission is located;

(3) Where the parties applied to have other lawfully established mediation organizations or lawfully serving mediators mediate, submit it to the basic-level people's court for the area where the parties or items in question are located.

Where the dispute involved in the mediation shall be in the jurisdiction of an intermediate or special people's court, submit it to the corresponding intermediate or special people's court.

 

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