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Civil procedure in China

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2023 | Blog, Business Law

The Office of the United States Trade Representative reported the country traded $758.4 billion in goods and services with China in 2022. The Asian nation is a huge business center for many American companies.

Understanding the laws in China is an essential part of doing business there.

Filing a lawsuit

In China, the civil procedure begins when a plaintiff files a lawsuit with the appropriate court. Plaintiffs must provide detailed information about the case, including the names and addresses of the parties involved, the facts and legal grounds for the claim and the remedies they seek.

Court jurisdiction

Courts in China are at different levels, including local, intermediate and higher. The choice of court often depends on factors like the nature of the case and the amount in dispute.

Service of process

Once individuals file a lawsuit, the court serves the defendant with the summons and complaint, notifying them of the legal action. Proper service of process is essential to ensure that all parties know about the case.

Evidence gathering

Both parties have the opportunity to present evidence to support their claims or defenses. The rules regarding evidence in China follow the principle that only evidence the parties obtain through legally prescribed means is admissible.

Mediation and conciliation

Before proceeding to a formal trial, Chinese courts often encourage parties to engage in mediation or conciliation. This approach aims to help the parties reach a mutually agreeable settlement, reducing the burden on the court system.

Court proceedings

If mediation is unsuccessful, the case proceeds to a formal trial. Court hearings in China are generally open to the public, ensuring transparency in the legal process. Parties present their arguments, witnesses and evidence before the judge.

Judgment and appeal

After hearing the case, the judge renders a judgment. If any party disagrees with the judgment, they have the right to appeal to a higher court within a specified timeframe.

Civil cases in China can vary in duration, with complex cases often taking longer to resolve. Timely case management is a priority for the Chinese legal system.