On Dec 24 2021, the Civil Procedure Law of China was revised according to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
The major changes are as follows:
- It is possible for a single judge alone to preside over the trial of an ordinary procedure, supposed that the fact is clear and right and obligation is definite. Previously, only a panel of at least three judges is allowed to try a case in an ordinary procedure;
- All documents in a lawsuit could be delivered by an electronic way, including Judgement, mediation statement, etc, if the participants agree so;
- The time frame of a summary procedure is extended from three months to four months. Previously, the trial in the summary procedure must be finished in three months upon filing, but with this latest revision, the time frame could be extended for an additional month if it is approved by the president of the court;
- For the simple case of a small amount, the trial may be finalised in one instance. Generally, what is implemented in China is double trial of a case, including the trial of first instance and the trial of second instance. However, with this revision, it is permitted to finalise a simple case of a small amount in one trial;
- The trial of second instance is allowed to try a case without formal hearing. In the past, a trial panel should have a formal hearing on an appellate case, but with the effect of the latest revision, it is permitted for the panel to decide a case without formal hearing if the panel thinks a formal hearing is not necessary.
Above are some of the big changes for the civil procedure laws applicable in China, and it is only intended as summary comments.
If you have any questions about this matter, or if you face a legal issue or have a case at hand, you would be better to consult with a lawyer for details or look it up in the complete text.
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