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Opinions on Implementation of the Case Filing and Registration System Reform by the People's Court
[2015-04-24]

On April 1, 2015, the Opinions on Implementation of the Case Filing and Registration System Reform by the People's Court (hereinafter referred to as the "Opinions") was adopted at the 11th Meeting of the Central Leading Group on April 1, 2015 for deepening reforms in an all-round way. This Opinions took effect from May 1, 2015. The text of the Opinions is as follows:

Opinions on Implementation of the Case Filing and Registration System Reform by the People's Court

To fully guarantee the litigation right of the parties concerned, practically solve the difficulties in case filing reported by the people, reform the system of case acceptance of the people's court, and change the filing review system into the case filing and registration system, the following opinions are made in accordance with the Civil Procedure Law, the Administrative Procedure Law, the Criminal Procedure Law and other relevant laws of the People's Republic of China.

I. Guiding Ideology of the Case Filing and Registration System Reform

i. Adhere to correct political orientation. The spirit of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee shall be thoroughly implemented by following the mass line of the CPC, adhering to just law enforcement for the people to promote and speed up the building of a fair, efficient and authoritative socialist judicial system.

ii. Take the Constitution and laws as the basis. The litigation right of the parties concerned shall be protected according to law to facilitate the parties concerned with proceedings which shall be open, transparent and efficient.

iii. Adhere to the principle of filing case when a lawsuit is made and handling every litigation. The people's court shall accept every case which meets the conditions provided by law according to law, and no unit or individual can obstruct the people's court from accepting the case with any pretext.

II. Scope of Case Filing and Registration

The cases listed below shall be registered and filed:

i. The civil case instituted by a citizen, legal person or other organization directly related to the case which is governed by the people's court and within the jurisdiction of that people's court, where there are specific defendant and clear claims and facts; 

ii. The civil case instituted by the administrative counterpart or a citizen, legal person or other organization directly related to the case which is governed by the people's court and within the jurisdiction of that people's court, where there are specific defendant, claim and facts;

iii. The case accepted upon complaint, minor criminal cases which can be proved by the victim with evidence, and a case which the victim has evidence to prove but has been rejected by the public security organ or people's procuratorate though such authorities should have accepted, where the victim makes complaint and there are specific defendant, claim and the evidence proving the accused crime, and is within the jurisdiction of that people's court;

iv. The case on which the effective legal instruments provide payment order and where there are specific subject matter under enforcement and specific person subject to enforcement, on which the obligee or his/her successor and the assignee make a request within the period specified by law, and is within the jurisdiction of that people's court;

v. The party claiming for compensation, being unsatisfied with the compensation decision or reconsideration decision made by the people's court, people¡¯s procuratorate, public security organ, make claims to the people's court, which is the authority bearing the obligation of compensation,for compensation.

The cases listed below shall not be registered or filed:

i. The lawsuit is illegal or does not meet the legal conditions for prosecution;

ii. The litigation has been ended;

iii. The lawsuit threats the national sovereignty and territorial integrity or the security of the country, or damages the unity of the country and nationality, or violates the religious policies of the country;

iv. Other issues beyond the jurisdiction of the people's court.

III. Procedures for Case Filing and Registration

i. The case shall be registered and filed on the spot. The people's court shall accept the petitions of all lawsuits, private prosecutions and applications that meet the legal requirements and make filing and registration on the spot. Where the people's court cannot decide whether or not a case meets the legal requirements, the people's court shall decide whether or not to file the case within the period specified by law.

ii. The people's court shall give the notice on all the materials that need to be corrected and complemented in one time. Where the materials of the lawsuit, private prosecution and application do not meet the formal requirements, the court shall give explanation promptly, and inform of all the materials that need to be corrected and complemented and the time limit in writing in one time. The people's court shall register and file the case where the required materials have been corrected and complemented within the specified time and meet the legal requirements.

iii. The lawsuits, private prosecutions and applications that do not meet the legal requirements. For the lawsuits, private prosecutions and applications that do not meet the legal requirements, the people's court shall decide not to accept or file the case according to law and indicate the reason. The party concerned, if not satisfied with the decision, may lodge an appeal or apply for review. The people's court is prohibited from rejecting materials, making no reply or issuing no legal instruments.

iv. The filing standards shall be strictly implemented. The people's court is prohibited from setting other case acceptance conditions beyond the legal requirements, and all "local policies" on case filing that do not meet the legal provisions shall be completely cleared and repealed.

IV. Well-developed Supporting Mechanisms

i. Improve the diversified dispute settlement mechanism. The diversified dispute resolution mechanism featuring organic integration and coordination between mediation, arbitration, administrative decision, and administrative review, shall be further improved, and the effective integration between the pro-litigation mediation and after-litigation mediation shall be enhanced to provide more dispute resolutions for the people.

ii. Establish and improve the preparation procedure before the court session. The work mechanism of differentiating the complicated cases from the simple ones and mediation first shall be improved. Exploration shall be made in the establishment of the preparation procedure before the court session, the meeting before the court session shall be held to clarify the opinions from both the plaintiff and the defendant, the focus of controversy shall be summarized and relevant evidence shall be fixed to facilitate efficient solution of the dispute through mediation, conciliation, fast trial and ruling, etc..

iii. Take stricter filing service measures. The construction of the service center and information technology of the people's court shall be enhanced for open and easy filing. Online filing, appointment filing, and tour filing shall be conducted to provide convenience for the parties concerned to exercise the right to appeal. More effort on legal aid and judicial relief shall be made so that the party concerned which indeed has economic difficulty can afford the litigation.

V. Punishment shall be made on illegal complaint or lawsuit abuse

i. Punish false lawsuit according to law. Where the parties concerned commit malicious collusion or file a lawsuit in the names of others in an attempt to infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of others through litigation, mediation and other ways, the people's court shall reject the claim, and impose a fine or detention on the parties concerned. Those whose acts have constituted a crime shall be held criminally liable therefor.

ii. Impose punishment on illegal acts according to law. Fine or detention shall be imposed on the parties concerned that disrupt, stay in, or impact the court and refuse to listen to the discourage from the judicial court staff, hinder the judicial court staff from performing their duties by violence, threats or other means, or fabricate facts, insult and slander judicial officers, which seriously disrupt the work of case filing and registration. Those whose acts have constituted a crime shall be held criminally liable therefor.

iii. Safeguard the case filing order according to law Those committing illegal siege, sit-in, unreasonable appeal, impacting the court and other acts that disturb the people's court in filing the case according to law shall be punished by the public security organ according to the Public Security Administration Punishments Law, and shall be warned, fined, imposed with administrative detention and other penalties. Those whose acts have constituted a crime shall be held criminally liable therefor.

iv. Improve relevant legal systems. The integrity of filing lawsuit shall be enhanced to standardize the exercise of the right to appeal. Relevant legislations shall be improved, and the standards of administrative penalties, judicial penalties, and criminal penalties shall be specified, and more serious punishments shall be imposed on false lawsuit, malicious prosecution, unreasonable lawsuit filing and other abuse of the right of action.

VI. Strengthen Supervision on Case Filing

i. Strengthen the internal supervision. The people's court shall publicize the case filing procedures, standardize the act of case filing and strengthen the supervision on the case filing procedure. The superior people's court shall give full play to its role of supervision and order its subordinate people's courts which refuse to file a case that should be filed to make correction promptly. The superior people's court can decide to accept the case within the jurisdiction of its subordinate courts or designates another subordinate people's court to file and try the case.

ii. Strengthen the external supervision. The people's court shall consciously accept supervision, and make and implement the rectification measures for the questions and comments made by the people's congresses at various levels and their standing committees in the supervision on the case filing and registration of the people's court in a timely manner. The people's court shall also hear the protest made by the procuratorial organ according to law on the decision of not accepting, filing, or rejecting the case, and give written reply in a timely manner. It shall  consciously accept supervision by the news media and the masses, respond to the issues and complaints made in a timely manner, and correct problems according to law.

iii. Strengthen the accountability mechanism. The supervision department of the people's court shall strengthen the supervision on the work of case filing. Where violations against law such as the act of refusing to file cases, delaying the case filing, intentionally controlling the case filing, "failure to file the case before the end of the year", interfering with the case filing and other illegal acts are discovered, the relevant persons in charge and competent leaders shall be strictly held for liabilities according to law. For those that have caused serious consequences or adverse social impact, and constituted a crime, the parties concerned shall be held for criminal liability.

The people's courts at all levels shall conscientiously implement the main ideas of this Opinions, strengthen their leadership, clarify responsibilities, make careful arrangements and organization to ensure smooth implementation of the case filing and registration system reform.  

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The English version of this article, which is translated from the Chinese version by CTPC, is for reference only and shall be subject to the corresponding contents on the Chinese webpage.
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