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Procedural Rules for the China International Commercial Court of the Supreme People’s Court (For Trial Implementation)

From: The Supreme People's Court         Updated: 2018-12-05

In order to facilitate the parties’ resolution of disputes through the China International Commercial Court of the Supreme People’s Court (hereinafter referred to as the China International Commercial Court), the Procedural Rules for the China International Commercial Court of the Supreme People’s  Court (For Trial Implementation) (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) is hereby formulated in accordance with the Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China(hereinafter referred to as the Civil Procedure Law), the Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues Regarding the Establishment of the International Commercial Court (hereinafter referred to as the Provisions), other laws and judicial interpretations.


Chapter 1 General Provisions

Article 1 The China International Commercial Court provides an international commercial dispute resolution mechanism that integrates litigation, mediation and arbitration for the parties to resolve disputes fairly, efficiently, conveniently and economically.


Article 2 The China International Commercial Court respects the parties’ autonomy in accordance with law and fully respects the parties’ choice of dispute resolution method.


Article 3 The China International Commercial Court protects equally the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese and foreign parties and safeguards the full exercise of the procedural rights of Chinese and foreign parties. 


Article 4 The China International Commercial Court supports online process for case acceptance, payment, service of process, mediation, file inspection, evidence exchange, pretrial preparation and hearings etc., in order to provide convenience to the litigation participants.


Article 5 The parties may file their documents with the China International Commercial Court through the litigation platform on the official website of the China International Commercial Court (cicc.court.gov.cn). Where it is impracticable, the parties may file their documents via the following means:

(1) E-mail;

(2) Post;

(3) On-site submission; or

(4) Other means permitted by the China International Commercial Court.

If a document is to be filed in accordance with Article 5(2) or (3), the submitting party shall file the document in paper form and provide duplicate copies as per the number of opposing parties, accompanied with electronic versions on a CD-ROM or any other portable storage device.


Article 6 The China International Commercial Court provides translation services to the parties upon request. The requesting party shall bear the costs.


Article 7 Each International Commercial Court establishes a Case Management Office, which is responsible for receiving the parties, accepting and managing cases, coordinating and integrating litigation, mediation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution methods, and organizing and managing translation services and extra-territorial law ascertainment services, etc.


Chapter 2 Acceptance of Cases

Article 8 When a plaintiff brings an action to the China International Commercial Court in accordance with Article 2(1) of the Provisions, the plaintiff shall submit:

(1) a statement of claim;

(2) an agreement in writing that chooses the jurisdiction of the Supreme People’s Court, the First International Commercial Court or the Second International Commercial Court;

(3) If the plaintiff is a natural person, the plaintiff shall submit his identity document. If the plaintiff is a legal person or other organization, it shall submit the business license or other registration document, and the identity document of its legal representative or responsible person;

(4) If the plaintiff is represented by a lawyer or other agent in the action, the plaintiff shall submit a letter of authorization and the identity document of the representative;

(5) Relevant evidential materials in support of the claim in the action;

(6) Completed Confirmation of Address for Service;

(7) Completed Pretrial Diversionary Procedures Questionnaire.

If a documentary proof stipulated in Article 8(3) or (4) is generated outside the territory of the People's Republic of China, the submitting party shall complete authentication procedures such as notarization or certification.  


Article 9 Upon receiving the documents submitted by the plaintiff in accordance with Article 8, the China International Commercial Court shall issue a receipt in electronic or paper form, which records the date of receipt.


Article 10 When the High People's Courts request for adjudication by the Supreme People's Court in accordance with Article 2(2) of the Provisions, the High People’s Courts shall state the reason(s) and submit relevant documents when making the request. The China International Commercial Court shall accept the case if the Supreme People’s Court so approves. 


Article 11 The China International Commercial Court shall accept the case if the Supreme People’s Court decides that it should be adjudicated by the China International Commercial Court in accordance with Article 2(3) and 2(5) of the Provisions.


Article 12 With respect to an action the bringing of which fulfills the conditions in Article 119 of Civil Procedure Law, if the plaintiff consents to pretrial mediation in the completed Pretrial Diversionary Procedures Questionnaire, the China International Commercial Court shall register and enumerate the action without charging the case acceptance fees for the time being. If the plaintiff does not so consent, the China International Commercial Court shall officially accept the case. 


Chapter 3 Service of Process

Article 13 The China International Commercial Court shall deliver copies of the statement of claim, the evidential materials, the Pretrial Diversionary Procedures Questionnaire and the Confirmation of Address for Service submitted by the plaintiff to the defendant(s) and other parties to the action.


Article 14 If a party agrees to receive litigation documents from other parties in the Confirmation of Address for Service and the other parties serve the documents on the party by way of personal service, service by post, electronic service or other means, the China International Commercial Court shall recognize the service upon satisfaction of the receipt by the party being served.


Article 15 If a party changes the address for service from the address given in the Confirmation of Address for Service, the party shall promptly notify the China International Commercial Court.


Article 16 If the litigation documents are not in fact received because the party being served has refused to provide an address for service, the address for service provided is inaccurate, or the change of address has not been notified to the China International Commercial Court, these documents shall be deemed to have been served.


Chapter 4 Pretrial Mediation

Article 17 The Case Management Offices shall convene a case management conference with the parties and/or their representatives within seven working days from the date of the service of the litigation documents on the defendant (if there are multiple defendants, from the date of the last service), discuss and decide on the pretrial mediation process, and set down the time limit for the mediation, which generally does not exceed twenty working days. If the parties do not consent to a pretrial mediation, the Case Management Offices shall determine the time schedule for the litigation procedures.

If the parties consent to the pretrial mediation to be conducted by the member(s) of the International Commercial Expert Committee (hereinafter referred to as Expert Member), the parties may jointly choose 1-3 Expert Members to act as mediators. If the parties fail to reach an agreement on the choice of mediators, the China International Commercial Court shall designate 1-3 Expert Members to act as mediators.

If the parties consent to the pretrial mediation to be conducted by an international commercial mediation institution, the parties may jointly choose a mediation institution from the list of international commercial mediation institutions announced by the Supreme People’s Court.


Article 18 The case management conference shall be held via online video. If it is impracticable to hold the conference via online video, the parties and/or their representatives shall be notified to attend in person. 


Article 19 After the case management conference, the Case Management Offices shall prepare a Case Management Memorandum and deliver the same to the parties.

The parties shall abide by the arrangement established in the Case Management Memorandum.


Article 20 The Expert Members conducting the mediation shall be in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations and comply with the relevant requirements on mediation of the Rules and the Working Rules of the International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People's Court (For Trial Implementation), and facilitate settlement on a voluntary basis.


Article 21 The mediation conducted by the Expert Members shall not be open to the public. The records of the mediation shall be made and signed by the parties and the mediator(s).


Article 22 In the course of conducting the mediation, the Expert Members shall terminate the mediation if any of the following circumstances occurs:

(1) That all parties or any party makes a request in writing for the termination of the mediation proceeding;

(2) That the parties fail to reach a mediation settlement agreement within the agreed time limit, unless they reach an agreement on an extension of time;

(3) That the Expert Members are unable to perform or continue to perform, or unfit to perform their duties in mediation, and it is impracticable to choose or designate other Expert Members;

(4) Any other circumstance.


Article 23 The international commercial mediation institution conducting the mediation shall abide by the mediation rules of that institution or the rules agreed by the parties in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.


Article 24 If the parties reach a mediation settlement agreement after the mediation conducted by the Expert Member(s) or by an international commercial mediation institution, the Office of the International Commercial Expert Committee or the international commercial mediation institution shall submit the mediation settlement agreement and the relevant case materials to the Case Management Office within three working days, for the China International Commercial Court to issue a mediation document after review of the aforesaid documents in accordance with the laws. The China International Commercial Court may issue a judgment upon the parties’ request.


Article 25 If the parties fail to reach a mediation settlement agreement or the mediation is terminated for any other reason, the Office of the International Commercial Expert Committee or the international commercial mediation institution shall submit the Mediation Form and the relevant case materials to the Case Management Office within three working days.

After receiving the aforesaid documents, the Case Management Office shall officially accept the case and determine the time schedule for the litigation procedures.


Article 26 The record of the mediation and the facts admitted by the parties for the purpose of reaching a mediation settlement agreement in compromise shall not be admissible evidence in the litigation proceedings to the prejudice of the parties, unless the parties otherwise agree.


Chapter 5 Trial

Article 27 The China International Commercial Court shall hold a pretrial conference upon expiry of the defense period, and complete pretrial preparation. Under special circumstances, the pretrial conference may be held before the expiry of the defense period, provided that the parties so consent.

The pretrial conference shall include the following agenda:

(1) Clarifying the plaintiff's claim(s) and the defendant's defense opinion(s);

(2) Reviewing and determining on the parties' application for adding or amending the claim(s) and for making counterclaim(s), and the claim(s) relevant to the action raised by the third party;

(3) Hearing submissions on the consolidation of actions and the joinder of the parties etc.;

(4) Hearing on an application for disqualification;

(5) Determining whether the trial should be open to the public;

(6) Determining on the appearance of witnesses, investigation and collection of evidence, commissioned authentication, provision of evidence by the parties, inspection, and preservation of evidence upon application by the parties. 

(7) Arranging for the exchange of evidence;

(8) Clarifying the method for extra-territorial law ascertainment; 

(9) Determining whether the Expert Member(s) should be permitted to appear in court to make supplementary explanations;

(10) Summarizing issues in dispute;

(11) Conducting mediation;

(12) Arranging for translation services;

(13) Determining the parties’ application for trial via online video depending on the circumstances, if the parties so apply;

(14) Any other procedural matters.


Article 28 The pretrial conference may be held via online video, attendance in person or any other means that the China International Commercial Court deems appropriate.


Article 29 The pretrial conference may be presided over by the collegial panel or one judge designated by the collegial panel.


Article 30 Where a trial is conducted via online video, unless there is verified network failure, equipment damage, power outage or a force majeure event, a party who fails to participate in the online trial is deemed to have refused to attend the trial, and any party who quits during the online trial without permission is deemed to have withdrawn from the trial.


Article 31 During the trial, if the collegial panel considers it necessary to consult the Expert Members on specialized legal issues relating to international treaties, international commercial rules and extra-territorial laws, it shall make a request to the Office of the International Commercial Expert Committee in accordance with the Working Rules of the International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People's Court (For Trial Implementation), stipulating a reasonable time limit for reply and enclosing the relevant materials. 


Chapter 6 Enforcement

Article 32 The parties may apply to the China International Commercial Court for the enforcement of a legally effective judgment, ruling or mediation document rendered by the China International Commercial Court. The China International Commercial Court may delegate to the relevant enforcement authorities for execution.


Article 33 If a party applies for the enforcement of a legally effective judgment, ruling or mediation document rendered by the China International Commercial Court against another party who is not or that has no assets in the territory of the People's Republic of China, Article 280(1) of the Civil Procedure Law shall apply. 


Chapter 7 Support for Dispute Resolution by Arbitration

Article 34 Where a party applies for preservation in accordance with Article 14(1) of the Provisions in an international commercial case in which the amount in dispute exceeds 300,000,000 Chinese Yuan or significant influence otherwise exists, the international commercial arbitration institution shall submit the application to the China International Commercial Court in accordance with the Civil Procedure Law, Arbitration Law of the People's Republic of China and other laws. The China International Commercial Court shall accept the case after review, and adjudicate the case in accordance with the laws.


Article 35 Where a party, in accordance with Article 14(2) of the Provisions, applies to the China International Commercial Court for setting aside or enforcement of an arbitration award made by an international commercial arbitration institution in an international commercial case in which the amount in dispute exceeds 300,000,000 Chinese Yuan or significant influence otherwise exists, the party shall submit an application letter, accompanied with the original arbitration award or mediation document. The China International Commercial Court shall accept the case after review, and adjudicate the case in accordance with the laws.


Chapter 8 Costs 

Article 36 For the cases accepted by the China International Commercial Court, the parties shall pay the case acceptance fees and other litigation costs in accordance with the provisions of the Measures on the Payment of Litigation Costs.


Article 37 For the cases mediated by the Expert Members, the parties shall negotiate and settle the necessary expenses incurred by the Expert Members for the mediation. If the negotiation fails, the parties shall be jointly liable for such expenses.


Article 38 For the cases mediated by an international commercial mediation institution, the costs of mediation shall be subject to the applicable rules on costs of such international commercial mediation institution.


Chapter 9 Supplementary Provisions

Article 39 The Rules is effective as of 5th December 2018.


Article 40 The Supreme People’s Court shall interpret the Rules.


 

*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.