On 27 Sept. 2022, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) held a press conference, introducing the foreign-related commercial and maritime trials conducted by Chinese courts in the past 10 years.
1. Report on data
From 2013 to June 2022, Chinese courts at all levels nationwide had concluded over 295,000 foreign-related civil, commercial and maritime cases of first instance.
The SPC has formulated 31 judicial interpretations and nine normative documents on foreign-related commercial and maritime trial, and issued 12 guiding cases and 137 typical cases.
During the epidemic, the SPC promulgated the “Guiding Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning Properly Handling Civil Cases Related to COVID-19 Epidemic in Accordance with the Law (III)” (关于依法妥善审理涉新冠肺炎疫情民事案件若干问题的指导意见（三）), which focuses on the trial of foreign-related commercial and maritime cases seriously affected by the epidemic, and has been included in the Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts (CLOUT) Database.
2. Innovation in foreign-related trial mechanism
The SPC revised the judicial interpretation on the service of judicial documents in foreign-related civil and commercial cases, to further clarify the rules on and regulate the foreign-related service. Also, the SPC has launched the national judicial assistance management platform and integrated it with the civil and commercial judicial assistance system of the Ministry of Justice.
Many Chinese courts have been exploring electronic service of process, service of process via litigants, lawyers, notary agencies and overseas Chinese groups, without violation of the laws of the country concerned.
In addition, the SPC has gathered five agencies for proof of foreign law and international commercial expert committee members to establish a unified platform for proof of foreign law and a resource library of foreign laws and cases.
3. Maritime court system
China has established the Nanjing Maritime Court, forming a national maritime trial system comprising 11 maritime courts and 42 dispatched tribunals.
4. Innovation in international commercial dispute resolution mechanism
China has set up the First and Second International Commercial Courts in Shenzhen and Xi’an respectively. So far, 27 cases have been accepted by these two courts, with 11 concluded.
As the portal to display developments in China International Commercial Court (CICC) and to provide online litigation services, CICC’s website has gained widespread attention, with total visits exceeding 4.01 million, covering 149 countries and regions worldwide.
Cover Photo by 炫铭 on Unsplash