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PROVISIONS OF THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S COURT ON REQUESTING JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE IN SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE COLLECTION IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL CASES IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND BILATERAL JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT

From: 外交部条法司民商(刑)事司法协助条约集(英文)         Updated: 2013-04-07

Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Requesting Judicial Assistance in Service of Documents and Evidence Collection in Civil and Commercial Cases in Accordance with International Convention and Bilateral Judicial Assistance Agreement


Fa Shi [2013] No. 11

April 7, 2013


The Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Requesting Judicial Assistance in Service of Documents and Evidence Collection in Accordance with International Convention and Mutual Judicial Assistance Agreement has been adopted at the 1568th meeting of the judicial committee of the Supreme People's Court on January 21, 2013, which is hereby promulgated and shall come into force on May 2, 2013.


These Provisions are formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China, the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters ("Hague Service Convention") , the Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters ("Hague Evidence Taking Convention") and bilateral civil judicial assistance treaties and in combination with the actual judicial practice of China for the purposes of correctly applying relevant international conventions and bilateral judicial assistance treaties and legally handling civil and commercial cases of requests in service of documents and evidence collection.


Article 1 The people's courts shall, on basis of the principle of convenience and efficiency, determine the requests for service of judicial documents and evidence collection abroad in civil and commercial cases pursuant to the Hague Service Convention, the Hague Evidence Taking Convention or bilateral civil judicial assistance treaty.


Article 2 People's courts shall apply the principle of reciprocity when assisting foreign courts in handling requests for service of judicial documents and evidence collection in civil and commercial cases.


Article 3 When assisting foreign courts in handling requests for service of judicial documents and evidence collection in civil and commercial cases, the people's courts shall examine such requests. Where the requests for judicial assistance put forward by foreign courts are under circumstances which the assistance request shall be rejected in accordance with the Hague Service Convention, the Hague Evidence Taking Convention or bilateral civil judicial assistance treaty, the people's courts shall reject to provide such assistance.


Article 4 When assisting foreign courts in handling requests for service of judicial documents and evidence collection in civil and commercial cases, the people's courts shall handle the same according to the methods provided in the Civil Procedure Law and relevant judicial interpretations.

Where the requesting party demands to handle the request according to the special methods listed in the written request, and such methods are not in contravention of the laws of China and there is not impossible or difficult to handle in practice, such request shall then be handled by such special methods.


Article 5 Where a translated version is required for the request for service of judicial documents and evidence collection in civil and commercial cases, which will be sent to the corresponding foreign court, the people's court shall entrust translation institutions within the territory of the People's Republic of China to translate such request.

The translation version shall be accompanied with translation certification that confirms the consistency between the translation version and the original text. The translation certificate shall be signed by the translator and sealed by the translation institution. The translation document may not be affixed with the stamp of the people's court.


Article 6 The Supreme People's Court shall administer the international judicial assistance work of people's courts of all levels in China on a centralized basis. The higher people's courts shall determine a department to administer the international judicial assistance work of people's courts of all levels within their administrative areas on a centralized basis and designate a dedicated person to be in charge of this. Intermediate people's courts and grassroots people's courts as well as special courts that have the right to accept foreign-related cases shall designate dedicated persons to manage international judicial assistance work; and where the required conditions are met, they may also determine a department to be responsible for the international judicial assistance work.


Article 7 People's courts shall establish independent international judicial assistance registration system.


Article 8 People's courts shall establish international judicial assistance archives system. The service return receipts and service proofs for handling the service of judicial documents for civil and commercial cases shall be properly kept in all steps of the whole process. Materials for handling the evidence collection for civil and commercial cases shall be kept as archives.


Article 9 Higher people's courts with authorization by the Supreme People's Court may directly issue the requests for service of judicial documents and evidence collection for civil and commercial case made by the people's courts of all levels within their administrative areas pursuant to the Hague Service Convention and the Hague Evidence Taking Convention.


Article 10 These Provisions shall not apply to the service of judicial documents and evidence collection for civil and commercial cases by diplomatic means.


Article 11 The international judicial assistance centralized management department of the Supreme People's Court shall formulate the implementing rules pursuant to these Provisions.


Article 12 In case of any inconsistency between the previous judicial interpretations and normative documents issued by the Supreme People's Court and these Provisions, these Provisions shall prevail.


 

*The original text is Chinese and has been translated into English for reference only. If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the Chinese version and the English version, the Chinese version shall prevail.