Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button
Instant Button


CIVIL PROCEDURE LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

(Adopted at the 22nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Fifth National People's Congress
and promulgated by Order No.8 of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
on March 8, 1982, and implemented on a trial basis as of October 1, 1982)

 

 

 

SUBJECT: ARBITRATION & LITIGATION

ISSUING-DEPT: STANDING COMMITTEE OF PEOPLE'S CONGRESS

ISSUE-DATE: 03/08/1982

IMPLEMENT-DATE: 10/01/1982

LENGTH: 14354 words

TEXT:

CONTENTS

PART I GENERAL PROVISIONS

CHAPTER I THE AIM AND BASIC PRINCIPLES

CHAPTER II JURISDICTION

SECTION 1 JURISDICTION BY LEVEL

SECTION 2 TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION

SECTION 3 REFERRAL AND DESIGNATION OF JURISDICTION

CHAPTER III TRIAL ORGANIZATION

CHAPTER IV WITHDRAWAL

CHAPTER V PARTICIPANTS IN PROCEEDINGS

SECTION 1 PARTIES

SECTION 2 AGENT AD LITEM

CHAPTER VI EVIDENCE

CHAPTER VII TIME PERIODS AND SERVICE

SECTION 1 TIME PERIODS

SECTION 2 SERVICE

CHAPTER VIII COMPULSORY MEASURES AGAINST IMPAIRMENT OF CIVIL ACTIONS

CHAPTER IX LITIGATION COSTS

PART II PROCEDURE OF FIRST INSTANCE

CHAPTER X ORDINARY PROCEDURE

SECTION 1 BRINGING A SUIT AND ACCEPTING A CASE

SECTION 2 PREPARTATIONS FOR TRIAL

SECTION 3 PRESERVATIVE MEASURES IN LITIGATION AND ADVANCE PAYMENT

SECTION 4 CONCILIATION

SECTION 5 TRIAL IN COURT

SECTION 6 SUSPENSION AND CONCLUSION OF A LAWSUIT

SECTION 7 JUDGMENT AND ORDER

CHAPTER XI SUMMARY PROCEDURE

CHAPTER XII SPECIAL PROCEDURE

SECTION 1 GENERAL STIPULATIONS

SECTION 2 CASES CONCERNING ROLLS OF VOTERS

SECTION 3 CASES CONCERNING THE PROCLAMATION OF THE DEATH OF A MISSING PERSON

SECTION 4 CASES CONCERNING THE DETERMINATION OF A CITIZEN AS INCOMPETENT

SECTION 5 CASES CONCERNING THE DETERMINATION OF A PROPERTY AS OWNERLESS

PART III PROCEDURE OF SECOND INSTANCE AND PROCEDURE FOR TRIAL SUPERVISION

CHAPTER XIII PROCEDURE OF SECOND INSTANCE

CHAPTER XIV PROCEDURE FOR TRIAL SUPERVISION

PART IV PROCEDURE OF EXECUTION

CHAPTER XV GENERAL STIPULATIONS

CHAPTER XVI REFERRAL OF AND APPLICATION FOR EXECUTION

CHAPTER XVII EXECUTION MEASURES

CHAPTER XVIII SUSPENSION AND CONCLUSION OF EXECUTION PART FIVE

PART I GENERAL PROVISIONS

CHAPTER I THE AIM AND BASIC PRINCIPLES

[Article 1] The Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China is formulated on the basis of the constitution and in the light of the actual conditions of our country and its experience in trying civil cases.

[Article 2] The aim of the Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China is to ensure that the people's courts ascertain facts, distinguish right from wrong, apply the law correctly, try civil cases promptly, affirm the rights and duties in civil affairs, impose sanctions for civil wrongs, protect the rights and interest of the state, collectives and individuals, and educate citizens to voluntarily abide by the law.

[Article 3] All those who engage in civil lawsuits within the territory of the People's Republic of China must abide by this Law.

The provisions of this Law are applicable to administrative cases that by law are to be tried by the people's courts.

[Article 4] The people's courts shall exercise the judicial authority with respect to civil cases.

The people's courts shall try civil cases independently, in accordance with the law, and shall not be subject to interference by any administrative organ, public organization or individual.

[Article 5] In conducting civil proceedings, the people's courts must base themselves on facts and take the law as the criterion; the law applies equally to all parties to a lawsuit; and the parties shall be guaranteed equal exercise of their litigation rights.

[Article 6] In conducting civil proceedings, the people's courts shall stress conciliation; if conciliation efforts are ineffective, they shall render judgments without delay.

[Article 7] In handling civil cases, the people's courts shall, wherever necessary and possible, send out circuit tribunals to conduct trials on the spot.

[Article 8] In trying civil cases, the people's courts shall, as provided for by law, apply the system whereby the second hearing is final, and the systems of public trial, collegial panel and withdrawal of judicial personnel.

[Article 9] Citizens of all nationalities shall have the right to use their native spoken and written languages in civil proceedings.

Where people of a minority nationality live in a concentrated community or where a number of nationalities live together in one area, the people's courts shall conduct hearings and issue legal documents in the spoken and written languages commonly used by the local nationalities.

The people's courts shall provide translations for any party to the court proceedings who is not familiar with the spoken or written languages commonly used by the local nationalities.

[Article 10] The parties to a civil lawsuit shall have the right to argue about the issues in dispute.

[Article 11] The parties to a civil lawsuit shall be entitled, within the scope stipulated by law, to dispose of their rights in civil affairs and their litigation rights.

[Article 12] The people's procuratorates shall have the right to exercise legal supervision over the civil proceedings of the people's courts.

[Article 13] If the civil rights and interests of the state, a collective or an individual have been infringed, a state organ, public organization, enterprise or institution may support the injured unit or individual to intiate legal action in a people's court.

[Article 14] The people's conciliation committees shall be mass organizations to conciliate disputes among the people, which are to function under the guidance of the grass-roots people's governments and the basic people's courts.

A people's conciliation committee shall conduct its conciliation through peruasion and education in accordance with the provisions of law and the principle of voluntariness. The parties concerned shall execute the agreement reached upon in the conciliations; those who refuse a conciliation or those for whom a conciliation has failed may initiate legal action in a people's court.

If a people's conciliation committee violates any policies or laws in conciliating a case, a people's court shall make corrections.

[Article 15] The people's congresses of the national autonomous areas and their standing committees may formulate certain adoptive or supplementary provisions in accordance with the principles of the Constitution and this Law and with the specific circumstances of the local nationalities. Such provisions made by an autonomous region shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for the record. The provisions made by an autonomous prefecture or autonomous county shall be submitted to the standing committee of the people's congress of the relevant autonomous region or province for approval and to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for the record.

CHAPTER II JURISDICTION

SECTION I JURISDICTION BY LEVEL

[Article 16] The basic people's courts shall have jurisdiction as courts of first instance over civil cases, unless otherwise stipulated in this Law.

[Article 17] The intermediate people's courts shall have jurisdiction as courts of first instance over the following civil cases:

(1) cases involving foreign interests; and

(2) cases that have major impact on the area under their jurisdiction.

[Article 18] The higher people's courts shall have jurisdiction as courts of first instance over civil cases that have major impact on the areas under their jurisdiction.

[Article 19] The Supreme People's Court shall have jurisdiction as the court of first instance over the following civil cases:

(1) cases that have major impact on the whole country; and

(2) cases that it deems it should try.

SECTION II TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION

[Article 20] A civil lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the defendant has his domicile; if the defendant's domicile is different from his residence, the lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place of his residence.

A civil lawsuit against an enterprise, institution, state organ or public organization shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the defendant unit is located.

Where the domiciles or residences of several defendants in one lawsuit fall under the jurisdiction of two or more people's courts, all of those people's courts shall have jurisdiction over the lawsuit.

[Article 21] The civil lawsuits described below shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the plaintiff has his domicile; if a plaintiff's domicile is different from his residence, the lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place of his residence. The relevant lawsuits are:

(1) those brought by civilians against servicemen;

(2) those concerning the status of persons not residing in the People's Republic of China;

(3) those against persons who are undergoing rehabilitation through labour; and

(4) those against imprisoned persons.

[Article 22] A lawsuit initiated over an infringing act shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the infringement took place.

[Article 23] A lawsuit initiated over a contract dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the contract is performed or where it was signed.

[Article 24] A lawsuit arising from railway, highway or water transport or through transport shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the administrative organ in charge of investigating and handling such disputes is located.

[Article 25] A lawsuit arising from air transport shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the transport began, where it ended or where the contract was signed.

[Article 26] A lawsuit concerning claims for damages caused by an aviation accident shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the accident took place or where the aircraft first landed after the accident.

[Article 27] A lawsuit concerning claims for damages caused by a ship collision or any other maritime accident shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the injured ship first docked after the accident or where the ship af fault was detained or in the port area where the ship at fault is registered.

[Article 28] A lawsuit concerning claims for maritime salvage shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the salvage took place or where the salvaged vessel first docked after the disaster.

[Article 29] In cases where the implementation of Articles 22 to 28 proves difficult, the provisions of Article 20 or 21 may be applied.

[Article 30] The following cases shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the people's courts herein specified:

(1) A lawsuit initiated over real estate shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the real estate is located.

(2) A lawsuit concerning harbour operations shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the harbour is located.

(3) A lawsuit concerning a registration shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the registration office is located.

(4) A lawsuit concerning an inheritance shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court in the place where the decedent had his domiclie, of where the principal part of his estate is located.

[Article 31] When two or more people's courts have jurisdiction over a lawsuit, the plaintiff may bring by choice his lawsuit in one of these people's courts; if the plaintiff brings the lawsuit in two or more people's courts that have jurisdiction over the lawsuit, it shall be handled by the people's court that first receives the bill of complaint.

SECTION III REFERRAL AND DESIGNATION OF JURISDICTION

[Article 32] If a people's court discovers that a case it has accepted is not under its jurisdiction, if shall refer the case to the people's court that does have jurisdiction over the case; the people's court to which a case has been referred shall not independently refer it again to another people's court.

[Article 33] If a people's court which has jurisdiction over a case is unable to exercise the jurisdiction for special reasons, a superior people's court shall designate another court to exercise the jurisdiction.

In the event of a jurisdictional dispute, it shall be resolved by the disputing parties through consultation; if the disputes cannot be resolved through consultation, it shall be reported to a people's court superior to both disputing parties for the designation of jurisdiction.

[Article 34] People's courts at higher levels shall have the authority to try civil cases over which people's courts at lower levels have jurisdiction as courts of first instance; they may also transfer civil cases over which they themselves have jurisdiction as courts of first instance to people's courts at lower levels for trial.

If a people's court deems it necessary for a civil case of first instance under its jurisdiction to be tried by a people's court at a higher level, it may request such a people's court to try the case.

CHAPTER III TRIAL ORGANIZATIONS

[Article 35] Civil cases of first instance shall be tried in a people's court by a collegial panel consisting of both judges and assessors or of judges alone. The collegial panel must have an odd number of members.

Simple civil cases shall be tried by a single judge alone.

When carrying out their duties in a people's court, the assessors shall have equal rights with the judges.

[Article 36] Civil cases of second instance shall be tried in a people's court by a collegial panel of judges. The collegial panel must have an odd number of members.

When retrying a case remanded by a people's court of second instance, the people's court of first instance shall form a new collegial panel in accordance with the procedures of first instance.

If a case for retrial was originally tried at first instance, a new collegial panel shall be formed according to the procedure of first instance; if the case was originally tried at second instance, a new collegial panel shall be formed according to the procedure of second instance.

[Article 37] The president of the court or the chief judge of a division shall designate one member of the judicial personnel to serve as the presiding judge of the collegial panel; if the president or the chief judge participates in the trial, he himself shall serve as the presiding judge.

[Article 38] When deliberating a case, a collegial panel shall observe the principle that the minority shall defer to the majority. The deliberations shall be recorded in writing, and the transcript shall be signed by the members of the collegial panel. Diverging opinions in the deliberations must be truthfully entered in the transcript.

[Article 39] The president of the court shall submit major and difficult civil cases to the judicial committee for discussion and decision. The collegial panel must carry out the decisions of the judicial committee.

CHAPTER IV WITHDRAWAL

[Article 40] A member of the judicial personnel must voluntarily withdraw, and the parties to the case shall also have the right to request, orally or in writing, that he be withdrawn, in any of the following circumstances:

(1) if he is a party or a near relative of a party to the case;

(2) if he has a personal interest in the case; or

(3) if he has some other relationship with a party to the case that could influence the impartial handling of the case.

The above provisions shall also apply to clerks, interpreters and expert witnesses.

[Article 41] When a party requests the withdrawal of a member of the judicial personnel, he shall explain the reason for this request and submit the request at the beginning of the proceedings; the request may also be submitted before the end of court debate if the reason for the withdrawal becomes known or occurs only after the beginning of the proceedings.

Personnel who have been requested to withdraw shall temporarilly suspend their functions unless emergency measures are required by the case.

[Article 42] The withdrawal of a court president who serves as the presiding judge shall be decided by the judicial committee; the withdrawal of judicial personnel shall be decided by the court president; the withdrawal of other personnel shall be decided by the presiding judge.

[Article 43] The decision of a people's court on a request for withdrawal may be made orally or in writing. if a party refuses to accept the decision, it may apply for one reconsideration. The trial of the case shall not be suspended during the time of reconsideration.

CHAPTER V PARTICIPANTS IN PROCEEDINGS

SECTION I PARTIES

[Article 44] Any person who has the capacity for litigation rights may become a party to a civil lawsuit.

Enterprises, institutions, state organs and public organizations may become parties to a civil lawsuit, and their principal leaders shall be their legal representatives.

[Article 45] The parties shall have the right to appoint agents request withdrawals, provide evidence, engage in debate, request conciliation, file an appeal and apply for execution.

With the permission of the people's court, the parties may consult the materials relating to the court proceedings of the case and may request that copies of the materials and other legal documents be made at their own expense. However, materials involving state secrets and the private affairs of individuals shall be exceptions.

The parties must exercise their litigation rights in accordance with the law, observe litigation procedures and carry out legally effective judgments, orders and conciliation agreements.

[Article 46] The two parties may reach a compromise on their own. The plaintiff may relinquish or modify his claim. The defendant may confirm or repudiate the claim and shall have the right to file a counterclaim.

[Article 47] A joint lawsuit shall be constituted when one party or both parties consist of two or more persons and the object of their lawsuits are the same or of the same category and the people's court considers that the claims can be tried together.

If the individuals constituting a party to a joint lawsuit have identical rights and obligations with respect to the object of the lawsuit and the procedural acts of one person is recognized by the others of his party, then such acts shall be effective for all; if the individuals in one party do not have identical rights and obligations with respect to the object of the lawsuit, then the procedural acts of one person shall have no effect on the others of his party.

[Article 48] If a third party considers that he has an independent claim to the object disputed by the parties to a lawsuit, he shall have the right to bring an action and become a party to the lawsuit.

If a third party has no independent claim to the object disputed by the parties to a lawsuit, but the outcome of the case will affect his interest legally, he may file a request to participate in the proceedings or may participate when so notified by the people's court.

SECTION II AGENTS AND LITEM

[Article 49] Any person with no capacity to engage in litigation shall have one or more agents ad litem to represent him in a lawsuit. The people's court may appoint an agent for any person who does not have an agent ad litem.

If the agents ad litem try to shift their responsibilities onto each other, the people's court may appoint one of them to represent the principal in litigation.

[Article 50] Each party, legal representative or agent ad litem may entrust one or two persons to represent him in litigation.

A party's near relative, a lawyer, a person recommended by a public organization or the unit to which a party belongs or any other citizen approved by the people's court may be entrusted as the party's agent ad litem.

[Article 51] When a person entrusts another to act on his behalf in litigation, he must submit to the people's court a power of attorney bearing his signature or seal.

The power of attorney must specify the matter and limits of authority entrusted. An agent ad litem must possess special authorization from his principal to confirm, relinquish or modify the claim and to institute a compromise or file a counterclaim or an appeal.

A power of attorney issued by a Chinese citizen residing in a foreign country must be certified by the Chinese embassy or consulate in that country. If there is no Chinese embassy or consulate in that country, the power of attorney must be certified by an overseas Chinese organization loyal to China.

[Article 52] A party to a lawsuit shall inform the people's court in writing if he changes or revokes the authority of an agent ad litem, and the court shall notify the other party of the change or revocation.

[Article 53] A lawyer who serves as an agent ad litem may consult materials pertaining to the case in accordance with relevant stipulations. However, if such materials involve state secrets or the private affairs of individuals, he must keep the confidential information from his client and others. With the approval of the people's court, other agents ad lintem may also consult the materials relating to the court proceedings of the case, except those that involve state secrets or the private affairs of individuals.

[Article 54] The parties to a divorce case which has been entrusted to agents ad litem shall appear in court in person, unless they are incapable of presenting their own case. A party who is truly unable to appear in court due to a special reason shall submit his or her opinion in writing to the people's court.

CHAPTER VI EVIDENCE

[Article 55] Evidence shall be classified as follows:

(1) Documentary evidence;

(2) Material evidence;

(3) Audio-visual reference material;

(4) Testimony of witnesses;

(5) Statements of the parties;

(6) Expert conclusions; and

(7) Records of inquests.

Any of the above-mentioned evidence must be verified before it can be taken as a basis for ascertaining a fact.

[Article 56] A party shall have the responsiblity to provide evidence in support of his own propositions.

The people's court shall, in accordance with the prescribed procedure, collect and examine evidence comprehensively and objectively.

[Article 57] The people's court shall have the authority to obtain evidence from the relevant units or individuals, and such units or individuals may not refuse to provide evidence.

The people's court shall verify and determine the validity of documentary evidence provided by state organs, public organizations, enterprises, institutions or individuals.

[Article 58] The people's court shall keep confidential any evidence that involves state secrets or the private affairs of individuals. If such evidence must be shown to a party, the showing shall not take place in open court.

[Article 59] The people's court shall recognize the validity of notarized legal acts, facts and documents, except where there is contrary evidence sufficient to invalidate the notarial certification.

[Article 60] Any document submitted as evidence must be the original one. Material evidence must also be original. If it is truly difficult to present the original document or material, then reproductions, photographs, duplicates or extracts of the original may be submitted.

If a document in a foreign language is submitted as evidence, a chinese translation must be appended.

[Article 61] All persons who have information about a case shall have the obligation to give testimony in court. Responsible persons of relevant units shall encourage witnesses to give testimony. When it would be truly difficult for a witness to appear in court, he may submit a written testimony with the approval of the people's court.

Any person who is unable to express himself properly cannot testify.

[Article 62] The people's court shall examine the statements of the parties in connection with the other evidence to determine whether the statements can be taken as a basis for ascertaining the facts.

The refusal of a party to make a statement shall not prevent the people's court from ascertaining the facts of a case on the basis of other evidence.

[Article 63] When the people's court needs to solve a specialized problem, the department concerned shall be obliged upon notification by the people's court to assign an expert to make an evaluation.

The expert witness shall have the right to consult the case materials necessary for the evaluation and direct inquiries to the parties and witnesses.

The expert witness shall present a written conclusion of his evaluation and affix his signature or seal to it, and the unit to which the expert witness belongs shall certify his status by affixing its official seal to the expert conclusion.

[Article 64] When inspecting material evidence or a site, the inspector must show his credentials issued by a peopel's court. He shall request a local grass-roots organizations or the unit concerned to send persons to participate in the inquest. The party concerned or an adult relative of his shall be present; their refusal to appear on the scene shall not prevent the inquest from proceeding.

Upon notification by the people's court, the relevant units and individuals shall have the obligation to preserve the site and assist in the inquest.

In carrying out the inquest, the inspector may photograph and survey the material evidence or site and shall prepare a written record of the circumstances and results of the inquest. The inspector, the party and the requested participants shall affix their signatures or seals to the record.

[Article 65] Under circumstances where there is a likelihood that evidence may be destroyed or lost or difficult to obtain later on, the participants in proceedings may apply for the evidence to be preserved. The people's court may also on its own initiative take measures to preserve such evidence.

CHAPTER VII TIME PERIODS AND SERVICE

SECTION I TIME PERIODS

[Article 66] Time periods shall include those prescribed by law and those designated by a people's court.

Time periods shall be calculated by the hour, the day, the month and the year. The hour and day from which a time period begins shall not be counted as within the time priod.

If the expiration date of a time period falls on a holiday, then the day immediately following the holiday shall be regarded as the expiration date.

A time period shall not include travelling time. A litigation doucment that is mailed before a deadline shall not be regarded as overdue.

[Article 67] If a party fails to meet a deadline due to force majeure or for other legitimate reasons, he may apply for an extension of the time limit within 10 days after the obstacle is removed. The requested extension shall be subject to approval by a people's court.

SECTION II SERVICE

[Article 68] A receipt shall be required for every litigation document that is served and it shall bear the addressee's signature or seal and the date of receipt.

The date of receipt as signed by the addressee shall be regarded as the date the document is served.

[Article 69] Litigation documents sent by a people's court shall be served directly on the addressee. If the addressee is absent, the documents shall be served on an adult member of his family living with him, who shall sign the receipt. If the addressee has designated an agent to receive his litigation documents and has informed the people's court of it, the documents may be served on the agent who shall then sign the receipt.

[Article 70] If the addressee of a litigation document refuses to accept it, the person serving the document shall ask representatives from the relevant grass-roots organization or other people to the scene, explain the situation to them, and record on the receipt the particulars of the refusal and the date of it. After the person serving the document and the witnesses have affixed their signatures or seals to the receipt, the doucment shall be left at the residence of the addressee and the service shall be considered completed.

[Article 71] If the direct service of a litigation document proves difficult, service of the document may be entrusted to another people's court, or it may be served by post. If a document is served by post, the postmark on the receipt for registered mail shall be regarded as the date the document is served.

[Article 72] If the addressee is in the military the document shall be forwarded to him by the political organ at or above the regimental level in the unit to which he belongs.

[Article 73] If the addressee is undergoing imprisonment, the doucment shall be forwarded to him by the prison or unit of reform through labour where he is serving his term.

If the addressee is undergoing rehabilitation through labour, the document shall be forwarded to him by the unit supervising his rehabilitation through labour.

[Article 74] Any organization or unit that receives a litigation document to be forwarded must immediately deliver it to the addressee, who shall sign the receipt.

[Article 75] If the whereabouts of an addressee is unknown, or if a document cannot be served on him by the other methods mentioned in this Chapter, the document shall be served by public announcement. Three months after the date of the public announcement, the document shall be deemed to have been served.

The reasons for service by public announcement and the procedures taken shall be recorded in the case files.

CHAPTER VIII COMPULSORY MEASURES AGAINST IMPAIRMENT OF CIVIL ACTIONS

[Article 76] If a defendant is required to appear in court but, having been served twice with a legal subpoena, still refuses to do so without justified reason, the people's court may summon him to court by a warrant.

[Article 77] If a participant in the proceedings or any other person commits any of the following acts, the people's court may, according to the seriousness of his offence, reprimand him, order him to sign a statement of repentance, fine him or detain him; if the offence constitutes a crime, the offender shall be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with law. These acts are:

(1) Forging, concealing or destroying evidence;

(2) Instigating or suborning others to commit perjury;

(3) Concealing, transferring, selling or destroying property that has been sealed up or distrained;

(4) Using violence, threats or other means to hinder judicial personnel from performing their duties or disrupt the working order of judicial organs;

(5) Insulting, slandering, incriminating with false charges or beating up judicial workers, witnesses, expert witnesses, inspectors, participants in proceedings or personnel who assist in execution or using other means to retaliate against them;

(6) Evading without reason, refusing to assist, or obstructing the execution of a judgment or order according to a notice of a people's court to assist in the execution by the person who has been notified and has the obligation to do so.

[Article 78] A fine shall be not more than Renminbi 200 yuan.

A detention period shall be not longer than 15 days.

The people's court shall deliver detained persons to a public security organ for custody. The people's court may decide to grant the detained person an early release if he admits and corrects his wrongdoing.

Fines and detentions may be imposed in combination.

[Article 79] Summonses by warrant, fines and detentions must be approved by the president of a people's court.

Letters of decision shall be issued for fines and detentions. If an offender refuses to comply to a fine or detention, he may apply for one reconsideration. The execution of the decision shall not be suspended during the time of reconsideration.

CHAPTER IX LITIGATION COSTS

[Article 80] the party filing a civil lawsuit must pay an acceptance fee as required. For civil cases involving property, the litigation costs other than the acceptance fee must also be paid according to regulations.

Procedures for the payment of litigation costs shall be formulated separately.

PART II PROCEDURE OF FIRST INSTANCE

CHAPTER X ORDINARY PROCEDURE

SECTION I BRINGING A SUIT AND ACCEPTING A CASE

[Article 81] The following requirements must be met when a suit is brought:

(1) The plaintiff must be an individual, enterprise, institution, state organ or public organization that has a direct interest in the case;

(2) There must be a specific defendant, a concrete claim and a factual basis for the suit; and

(3) The suit must fall within the scope of jurisdiction of the people's courts and the specific jurisdiction of the people's court where it is filed.

[Article 82] When bringing a suit, a bill of complaint shall be submitted to the people's court, and copies of the bill shall be prepared according to the number of defendants.

If a plaintiff has true difficulty in writing a bill of complaint, he may state his complaint orally, and the court shall transcribe it an inform the other party.

[Article 83] A bill of complaint shall clearly set forth the following:

(1) The name, sex, age, ethnic status, native place, occupation, work unit and address of each person who is a party to the case or, if a party is an enterprise, institution, government organ or public organization, its name, address and legal representative's name and position;

(2) The claim of the lawsuit and the facts and grounds on which it is based; and

(3) Any evidence and its source, as well as the names and addresses of witnesses.

[Article 84] The people's court shall deal with the various lawsuits described below according to their specific circumstances:

(1) In cases of violation of the regulations on Security Administration Punishments, it shall refer the plaintiff to a public security organ for handling.

(2) For disputes which should be handled by other administrative organs according to law, it shall refer the plaintiff to the relevant administrative organ for settlement.

(3) In cases in which a judgment or order has already taken legal effect, but one party again brings a suit regarding the same claim, it shall notify that party to file an appeal.

(4) A case shall not be accepted if it is not permitted by law to be filed within a specified period but nevertheless is filed within that period.

(5) Any divorce suit that has been rejected by a judgment and is refiled within six months without new developments and reasons shall not be accepted.

[Article 85] When a people's court receives a bill of complaint or an oral complaint and finds upon examination that it meets the requirements for acceptance as specified in this Law, it shall within seven days file a case; if the complaint does not meet the requirements for acceptance as specified in this Law, the court shall within seven days notify the plaintiff that the complaint has been rejected and provide due explanation.

SECTION II PREPARATIONS FOR TRIAL

[Article 86] In a case claiming overdue alimony, support for children or elders, pension for the disabled or the family of a deceased or remuneration for labour, the people's court shall send a copy of the bill of complaint to the defendant within five days after accepting the cases, and the defendant shall file a bill of defence within ten days after receiving the copy of the bill of complaint. In other cases, the people's court shall send a copy of the bill of complaint to the defendant within five days after accepting the case, and the defendant shall file a bill of defence within 15 days after receiving the copy of the bill of complaint.

Failure by the defendant to file a bill of defence shall not prevent the case from being heard by the people's court.

[Article 87] The judicial personnel must carefully examine the case materials, carry out investigations and research, and gather evidence.

It shall be the duty of the units concerned to help the people's court conduct investigation.

[Article 88] The personnel sent by a people's court to conduct an investigation shall first show their credentials to the person being investigated.

The written record of an investigation shall be checked by the person investigated and then signed or sealed by both the investigator and the investigated.

[Article 89] If necessary, a people's court may entrust an investigation to a people's court in another locality.

The entrusting people's court shall clearly set out the matters and requirements of the entrusted investigation. The entrusted people's court may on its own initiative conduct supplementary investigation.

The entrusting people's court shall complete the investigation within 30 days after receiving the rogatory letter. If for some reason it cannot complete the investigation, it shall notify the entrusting people's court in writing within the above-mentioned time limit.

[Article 90] If a person instituting or responding to a prosecution does not qualify to be a party to a case, the people's court shall notify another party that does qualify, to participate in the proceedings in place of the disqualified party.

[Article 91] If a party who must participate in a joint lawsuit fails to participate in the proceedings, the people's court shall notify him to participate.

SECTION III PRESERVATIVE MEASURES IN LITIGATION AND ADVANCE PAYMENT

[Article 92] If it becomes impossible or difficult to execute a judgment because of the acts of one of the parties or for other reasons, the people's court may, at the request of the other party or on its own authority, order preservative measures in litigation to be adopted.

After accepting a party's application for preservative measures in litigation, if the case is urgent, the people's court must make a ruling and begin to implement it within 48 hours.

[Article 93] Preservative measures in litigation shall be limited to the scope of the litigation claim or to the property relevant to the case.

Preservative measures in litigation shall be carried out by sealing up, distraining or freezing property, ordering the party concerned to provide a surety or using other methods permitted by law.

If a sealed-up or distrained property cannot be kept for a long time, the people's court may sell it off and take charge of the money obtained.

[Article 94] When a people's court has decided to take preservative measures in litigation, it may order the applicant to provide a surety; if the applicant refuses, his application shall be rejected.

If the applicant loses the lawsuit, he shall compensate the other party for any loss of property due to the preservative measures in litigation.

[Article 95] The people's court may, when necessary, order an advance payment to be immediately implemented in the following cases:

(1) Claims for alimony, support for children or elders and pension for the disabled or the family of a deceased;

(2) Claims for remuneration for labour;

(3) Other claims requiring advance payment.

[Article 96] If a party refuses to accept an order of preservative measures in litigation or advance payment, he may apply for one reconsideration. Implementation of the order shall not be suspended during the time of reconsideration.

SECTION IV CONCILIATION

[Article 97] If a civil case which has been accepted by a people's court can be conciliated, the people's court shall, on the basis of ascertaining the facts and distinguishing between right and wrong, conduct conciliation and urge the parties to reach mutual understanding and compromise.

[Article 98] When a people's court conducts a conciliation, a single judge or a collegial panel may preside. Conciliations shall be conducted locally whenever possible.

[Article 99] When a people's court conducts a conciliation, it may, according to the needs of the case, request the assistance of units or individuals concerned. The requested units or individuals shall assist the people's court in conducting the conciliation.

[Article 100] Conciliation agreements must be based on the voluntariness of both parties; compulsion shall not be permitted.

[Article 101] When a conciliation agreement has been reached, a conciliation statement shall be drawn up and signed by the judge and the court clerk, and the seal of the people's court shall be affixed to it. Once the conciliation statement is served, it shall become legally effective.

Any agreement for which no conciliation statement needs to be drawn up shall be entered into the written records and shall become legally effective after being signed or sealed by both parties, the judge and the court clerk.

[Article 102] If no agreement is reached through conciliation or if one party retracts his consent before the conciliation statement is served, the people's court shall proceed with a trial and not prolong the case with further conciliation efforts.

SECTION V TRIAL IN COURT

[Article 103] Civil cases in the people's courts shall be heard in public, except for cases that involve state secrets or the private affairs of individuals or are otherwise provided by law.

A divorce case may not be heard in public if a party so requests.

[Article 104] In handling civil cases, the people's courts shall, whenever necessary and possible, send out circuit tribunals to hold trials on the spot.

The people's courts shall follow the summary procedure in circuit tribunals, unless the case is a major or complicated one.

[Article 105] The people's court shall notify the parties and other participants in a civil case three days before the opening of a court session. In a case to be heard in public, the names of the parties, the cause of action and the time and location of the court session shall be announced publicly.

[Article 106] Before a court session is called to order, the court clerk shall ascertain whether or not the parties and other participants in the case are present and announce the rules of order of the court.

At the beginning of a trial, the presiding judge or the sole judge shall check the parties present, announce the cause of action and the names of the judicial personnel and court clerks, inform the parties of their litigation rights and obligations and ask the parties whether or not they wish to apply for the withdrawal of any court personnel.

[Article 107] Courtroom investigation shall be conducted in the following order:

(1) Questioning of the parties and presentation of their statements;

(2) Informing the witnesses of their rights and obligations, questioning of the witnesses and reading of the statements of absentee witnesses;

(3) Questioning of the expert witnesses and reading of the expert conclusions;

(4) Presentation of documentary evidence, material evidence and audio-visual reference mateiral; and

(5) Reading of the records of inquests.

[Article 108] The parties may present new evidence during a court session.

With the permission of the court, the parties may put questions to witnesses, expert witnesses and inspectors.

The parties may request a new expert evaluation, investigation or inquest, subject to the approval of the people's court.

[Article 109] Additional claims by the plaintiff, counterclaims by the defendant and third-party claims related to the case may be tried together.

[Article 110] Court debates shall be conducted in the following order:

(1) Presentation of oral statements by the plaintiff and his agents ad litem;

(2) Response by the defendant and his agents ad litem; and

(3) Debate between the two sides.

At the end of the court debate, the presiding judge shall ask both sides to present their final arguments, with the plaintiff going first and then the defendant.

[Article 111] At the end of the court debate, another conciliation effort may be conducted; if no agreement can be reached, a judgment shall be made in accordance with the law.

[Article 112] If a plaintiff has been served twice with a legal subpoena from a people's court and refuses to appear in court without justified reason, or if he walk out during a court session without the permission of the court, the court may consider the suit withdrawn; if the defendant files a counterclaim, the court may make a judgment by default.

[Article 113] If a defendant has been served twice with a legal subpoena from a people's court and refuses to appear in court without justified reason, or if he walks out during a court session without the permission of the court, the court may make a judgment by default as well as apply the provisions of Article 76 of this Law.

[Article 114] If a plaintiff applies to withdraw his complaints before judgment is pronounced, the people's court shall decide whether to grant approval.

[Article 115] The people's court shall publicly pronounce its judgment in all cases. If a judgment is pronounced in court, the written judgment shall be issued and delivered within ten days; if a judgment is pronounced later on a fixed date, the written judgment shall be issued immediately after the pronouncement.

Upon pronouncement of a judgment, the parties must be informed of their right to file an appeal, the time limit for appeal and the court to which they may appeal.

Upon pronouncement of a divorce judgement, the parties must be informed not to remarry before the judgment takes legal effect.

[Article 116] A trial shall be postponed under any of the following conditions:

(1) If the parties or other participants in the proceedings fail to appear in court as required;

(2) If the trial cannot proceed because a party requests the withdrawal of a judicial functionary;

(3) If it is necessary to summon new witnesses to court, collect new evidence, make a new expert evaluation, hold another inquest, or make supplementary investigation; or

(4) If other circumstances arise that warrant the postponement of the trial.

[Article 117] The court clerk shall make a written record of the entire court proceedings, which shall be signed by the judicial personnel and the court clerk.

The court record shall be read out in court, or the parties and other participants in the proceedings may be notified to read the record while in court or within five days. If the parties or other participants consider that there are omissions or errors in the record with respect to their statements, they shall have the right to request additions or corrections to be made.

The court record shall be signed or sealed by the parties and other participants in the proceedings. Refusal to do so shall be recorded in a note to be attached to the file.

SECTION VI SUSPENSION AND CONCLUSION OF A LAWSUIT

[Article 118] A lawsuit shall be suspended under any of the following conditions:

(1) If one of the parties dies and it is necessary to wait for his heir to participate in the proceedings;

(2) If one of the parties has lost the capacity to engage in litigation and his agent ad litem has not been designated;

(3) If one of the parties cannot participate in the proceedings for reasons of force majeure;

(4) If the current case is dependent on the results of the trial of another case that has not yet been concluded; or

(5) If other circumstances arise that warrant the suspension of the lawsuit.

The proceedings shall resume after the causes of the suspension have been eliminated.

[Article 119] A lawsuit shall be concluded under any of the following conditions:

(1) If the plaintiff dies without an heir or the heir waives his right of litigation;

(2) If the defendant dies without any estate and with no one to discharge his obligations;

(3) If no heir comes forward to participate in the proceedings within six months after the lawsuit has been suspended due to the death of a party; or

(4) If one of the parties in a divorce case dies.

SECTION VII JUDGMENT AND ORDER

[Article 120] The following shall be clearly written into a judgment:

(1) The cause of action, the claims, and the facts of and reasons for the dispute;

(2) The facts and reasons confirmed in the judgment, and the law applied;

(3) The result of the judgment and the litigation costs to be borne; and

(4) The time limit for filing an appeal and the appellate court designated.

The judgment shall be signed by the judicial personnel and the court clerk, and the seal of the people's court shall be affixed to it.

[Article 121] If some of the facts in a case being tried by the people's court are already evident, the court may pass judgment on those facts first.

[Article 122] Orders shall be applied to the following matters:

(1) Rejection of a lawsuit;

(2) Matters that concern preservative measures in litigation or advance payment;

(3) Approval or disapproval of withdrawal of a lawsuit;

(4) Suspension or conclusion of a lawsuit;

(5) Rectification of errors in the judgment; and

(6) Other matters which require settlement by a court order.

An order in the category of item (1) above may be appealed.

A written order shall be signed by the judicial personnel and the court clerk, and the seal of the people's court shall be affixed to it. If an order is issued orally, it shall be entered in the record.

[Article 123] All judgments and orders of the Supreme people's Court, as well as judgments and orders that may not be appealed according to law or have not been appealed within the prescribed time limit, shall be legally effective.

CHAPTER XI SUMMARY PROCEDURE

[Article 124] When trying simple civil cases, the basic people's courts and the tribunals dispatched by them may apply the summary procedure stipulated in this Chapter.

[Article 125] In simple civil cases the plaintiff may file his complaint orally.

The two parties may appear at the same time at a basic people's court or a tribunal dispatched by it to request a solution of their dispute. The basic people's court or the tribunal dispatched by it may try the case immediately or set a date for the trial.

[Article 126] In trying a simple civil case, the basic people's court or the tribunal dispatched by it may at any time use simplified methods to summon the parties and witnesses.

[Article 127] Simple civil cases shall be tried by a single judge alone who shall not be restricted by the provisions of Articles 105, 107 and 110 of this Law.

CHAPTER XII SPECIAL PROCEDURE

SECTION I GENERAL STIPULATIONS

[Article 128] The stipulations in this Chapter shall be applied when a people's court tries cases concerning a roll of voters; the proclamation of death of a missing person; the determination of a citizen as incompetent; and the determination of a property as ownerless. For matters not covered in this Chapter, the relevant stipulations of this Law and other laws shall be applied.

[Article 129] If a case is tried in accordance with the procedure stipulated in this Chapter, the judgment of first instance shall be final. A collegial panel of judges shall be formed for the trial of any case involving a roll of voters or any major, difficult or complicated case; other cases shall be tried by a single judge alone.

[Article 130] If a people's court, while trying a case in accordance with the procedure of this Chapter, discovers that the case involves a dispute over rights and interests in civil affairs, it hsall issue an order to terminate the special procedure and inform the interested parties to bring another suit in accordance with ordinary or summary procedure.

SECTION II CASES CONCERNING ROLLS OF VOTERS

[Article 131] If citizens refuse to accept an election committee's decision on an appeal concerning a roll of voters, they may bring a suit in the basic people's court located in their electoral district.

[Article 132] After it has accepted a case concerning a roll of voters, the people's court must try the case before the elections are held.

The plaintiff, a representative of the election committee and other citizens concerned must participate in the proceedings.

The written judgment of the people's court shall be immediately served on the election committee and the plaintiff, and other citizens concerned shall be notified of the judgment.

SECTION III CASES CONCERNING THE PROCLAMATION OF THE DEATH OF A MISSING PERSON

[Article 133] An application for proclaiming the death of a missing person shall be filed by the interested party with the people's court in the locality where the missing person last resided.

The application shall clearly state the facts and time of the disappearance as well as the action requested, and documentary evidence form a public security organ concerning the missing person must be appended.

[Article 134] After it has accepted a case concerning a proclamation of the death of a missing person, the people's court shall issue a public search notice for the missing person. The time limit of the notice shall be one year.

On the expiration of the period of public notice, the people's court, depending on whether the death of the missing person has been ascertained, shall order to terminate the trial or make a judgment proclaiming the death of the missing person.

[Article 135] If a missing person who has been proclaimed dead by a people's court should reappear, the people's court, upon the application of that person or an interested party, shall make a new judgment and annul the former one.

SECTION IV CASES CONCERNING THE DETERMINATION OF A CITIZEN AS INCOMPETENT

[Article 136] An application for determining a citizen as incompetent shall be filed by the citizen's close relatives or his work unit with the basic people's court in the locality where the citizen has his domicile.

The application must clearly state the facts and grounds on which the citizen's incompetence is claimed.

[Article 137] After accepting an application for determining a citizen as incompetent, the people's court when necessary shall have an expert examine the citizen; if the applicant has already provided expert conclusions, the people's court shall examine those conclusions.

[Article 138] When hearing a case for determining a citizen as incompetent, the people's court when necessary shall appoint an agent ad litem for the citizen and also question him in person; the citizen shall be summoned to court if his state of health permits.

[Article 139] The people's court, after issuing a judgment determining a citizen as incompetent, shall appoint a guardian for him according to law.

If the people's court determines that an application for holding a citizen incompetent is unjustified, it shall reject it.

[Article 140] If, at the request of a person who has been determined as incompetent or of his guardian, a people's court verifies that the causes of that person's incompetence have been eliminated, it shall make a new judgment and annul the previous one.

SECTION V CASES CONCERNING THE DETERMINATION OF A PROPERTY AS OWNERLESS

[Article 141] An application for determining a property as ownerless shall be filed with the basic people's court in the place where the property is located by a relevant state organ, public organization, enterprise, institution, grass-roots organization or individual.

The application must clearly state the type and quantity of the property and on what grounds the application for holding the property ownerless is submitted.

[Article 142] If a people's court has investigated and established the facts with respect to an application for determining a property as ownerless, and no one comes forward to claim the property within one year after a public notice has been issued, the court shall make a judgment determining the property as ownerless and transfer it to the state or the collective concerned.

[Article 143] If, after a property has been determined in a judgment as ownerless, the original owner or his rightful heir comes forward to claim the property, and the people's court has investigated and verified the authenticity of the claim, the court shall make a new judgment and annul the previous one.

PART III PROCEDURE OF SECOND INSTANCE AND PROCEDURE FOR TRIAL SUPERVISION

CHAPTER XIII PROCEDURE OF SECOND INSTANCE

[Article 144] If a party refuses to accept a judgment or order of first instance of a local people's court at any level, he shall have the right to file an appeal with the people's court at the next higher level.

[Article 145] The time limit for an appeal against a judgment shall be 15 days, and the time limit for an appeal against an order shall be 10 days.

[Article 146] An appeal petition shall include the names of the parties, enterprises, institutions, state organs and public organizations involved in the lawsuit, as well as the names of their legal representatives; the name of the people's court where the case was first tried; the case file number and the cause of action; and the requested action and reasons for it.

[Article 147] An appeal petition shall be submitted through the people's court which originally tried the case, and copies of the petition shall be prepared according to the number of people in the other party.

If a party appeals directly to a people's court of second instance, the court shall within five days transfer the appeal petition to the people's court which originally tried the case.

[Article 148] Within five days after receiving the appeal petition, the people's court which originally tried the case shall deliver copies of the appeal petition to the other party. After receiving the copies of the appeal petition, the other party must submit its defence within 15 days. Failure by the other party to submit a defence shall not prevent the case from being tried by the people's court.

After receiving the appeal petition and the defence, the people's court which originally tried the case shall, as soon as possible, deliver the petition and defence together with the entire case file and evidence to the people's court of second instance.

[Article 149] A people's court of second instance must conduct a complete review of the facts determined and the application of law by the people's court of first instance, and shall not be limited by the scope of appeal.

[Article 150] When handling an appealed case, the people's court of second instance shall form a collegial panel and conduct a hearing. If, after consulting the files, making the necessary investigation and questioning the parties, the collegial bench has verified the facts of the case and decides that there is no need to conduct a hearing in court, it may issue an immediate judgment.

A people's court of second instance may try an appealed case in its own court or in the place where the case originated or where the people's court which originally tried the case is lcoated.

[Article 151] After hearing an appealed case, the people's court of second instance shall handle it according to the conditions set forth below:

(1) If the facts were clearly ascertained and the law was correctly applied in the original judgment, the appeal shall be rejected and the original judgment sustained;

(2) If the facts were clearly ascertained but the law was incorrectly applied in the original judgment, the judgment shall be amended according to law;

(3) If the facts were not clearly ascertained in the original judgment or the evidence was insufficient, or a violation of the prescribed procedure may have affected the correctness of the original judgment, the judgment shall be rescinded and the case remanded to the original people's court for retrial, or the people's court of second instance may amend the judgment after investigating and clarifying the facts.

The parties may appeal against the judgment or order rendered in a retrial of their case.

[Article 152] The people's court of second instance shall rule on all the cases of appeal in which the parties concerned refuse to accept the orders of the people's court of first instance.

[Article 153] In hearing an appealed case, the people's court of second instance may conduct conciliation. If an agreement is reached through conciliation, a written statement of conciliation shall be made and shall be signed by the judicial personnel and the court clerk, and the seal of the people's court shall be affixed to it. After the statement of conciliation has been served, the judgment of the people's court which originally tried the case shall be considered rescinded.

[Article 154] If an appellant requests to withdraw his appeal before the people's court of second instance pronounces its judgment, the court shall give an order on the request.

[Article 155] When a people's court of second instance hears an appeal, it shall apply the ordinary procedure for trials of first instance, unless otherwise stipulated in this Chapter.

[Article 156] The judgments and orders of a people's court of second instance shall be final.

CHAPTER XIV PROCEDURE FOR TRIAL SUPERVISION

[Article 157] If the president of a people's court at any level finds some definite error in a legally effective judgment or order of his court and deems it necessary to have the case retried, he shall refer it to the judicial committee for discussion and decision.

If the Supreme People's Court finds some definite error in a legally effective judgment or order of a people's court at any lower level, or if a people's court at a higher level finds some definite error in a legally effective judgment or order of a people's court at a lower level, it shall have the power to bring the case up for trial itself or direct the people's court at the lower level to conduct a retrial.

[Article 158] If a party or his agent ad litem considers that there is some definite error in a legally effective judgment or order, he may appeal to the people's court which tried the case or to a people's court at a higher level, but the execution of the judgment or order cannot be suspended.

In a case of appeal against a legally effective judgment or order, if the people's court after reexamining the case considers the original judgment or order correct and the appeal unjustified, it shall issue a notice rejecting the appeal; if the original judgment or order is truly in error, the president of the people's court shall refer the case to the judicial committee for discussion and decision.

[Article 159] When a decision is made to retry a case in accordance with the procedure for trial supervision, an order shall be issued to suspend the execution of the original judgment. The order shall be signed by the president of the court, and the seal of the people court shall be affixed to it.

[Article 160] In the retrial of a case in accordance with the procedure for trial supervision, if the case was originally one of first instance, it shall be tried in accordance with the procedure of first instance, and the parties may appeal against the new judgment or order; if the case was originally one of second instance or was brought up for trial by a people's court at a higher level, it shall be tried in accordance with the procedure of second instance, and the new judgment or order rendered shall be legally effective.

PART IV PROCEDURE OF EXECUTION

CHAPTER XV GENERAL STIPULATIONS

[Article 161] Legally effective judgments, orders and conciliation agreements in civil cases, as well as the parts of judgments or orders that relate to property in criminal cases, shall be executed by the people's court that tried the case in the first instance.

Other legal documents which are to be executed by a people's court as prescribed by law shall be executed by the people's court which has jurisdiction over the case concerned.

[Article 162] If in the course of execution person who has not been involved in the case raises an objection with respect to the object of the execution, the executor shall examine the objection. An unjustified objection shall be rejected; a justified objection shall be submitted to the president of the court who may approve suspension of execution, and then the objection shall be referred to a collegial panel of judges for examination or to the judicial committee for discussion and decision.

[Article 163] The execution shall be carried out by the executor or the court clerk; important execution measures shall be carried out with the participation of judicial police.

In carrying out a compulsory execution measure, the executor shall show his credentials to the person subject to the execution, or to an adult member of his family; the executor shall make a record of the particulars of the execution, and have it signed or sealed by the personnel concerned on the scene.

[Article 164] All units and individuals concerned in a case are obliged to assist in the execution in accordance with the notice of the people's court. Those who evade without reason, refuse to assist or obstruct the execution shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of Article 77 of this Law.

[Article 165] If a person or property subject to execution is in another locality, the people's court in that locality may be entrusted with enforcement of the execution. The entrusted people's court shall begin the execution within 15 days after receiving a letter of entrustment. After the execution has been completed, the entrusted people's court shall inform the entrusting people's court by letter of the result of the execution.

CHAPTER XVI REFERRAL OF AND APPLICATION FOR EXECUTION

[Article 166] The parties must comply with legally effective judgments, orders, and conciliation agreements in civil cases, and other legal documents that are to be executed by the people's court. If a party refuses to comply, the judge shall refer the matter to the executor, and the other party may also apply to the people's court for execution.

[Article 167] If a party fails to comply with a legally effective order of an arbitration agency, the other party may apply for execution to the people's court which has jurisdiction over the case.

[Article 168] If a party fails to comply with a document of obligation that has been rendered executory according to law by a notary office, the other party may apply to the basic people's court which has jurisdiction over the case for execution. If the basic people's court finds some definite error in the notarial document, it shall disallow the execution and notify the notary office of its decision.

[Article 169] The time limit for applying for execution small be one year if one or both of the parties are individuals; it shall be six months if both parties are enterprises, institutions, state organs or public organizations.

The above-mentioned time limit shall be calculated from the last day of the period specified by the legal document for its performance. If the legal document specifies that it shall be performed in stages, the time limit shall be calculated from the last day of the period specified for each stage of performance.

[Article 170] When an executor receives an application or referral for execution, he shall within ten days familiarize himself with the case and notify the person against whom the judgment has been passed to execute it within the specified time limit. If the person fails to comply within the time limit, execution shall be compelled.

CHAPTER XVII EXECUTION MEASURES

[Article 171] The units concerned must comply with the notice issured by the people's court requesting them to assist in with holding or withdrawing money from the savings deposits or income from work of a person against whom a judgment or order is being executed.

When a people's court decides to withhold or withdraw money from the income from work of a person against whom the judgment or order is being executed, it shall leave the necessary living expenses for him and his dependent family members.

[Article 172] When a people's court seals up, distrains, freezes or sells off the property of a person against whom a judgment or order is being executed, it shall leave his essential production tools and the articles of daily necessity for him and his dependent family members.

Adoption of the above-mentioned measures shall be subject to the approval of the president of the people's court.

[Article 173] When the people's court seals up or distrains a property, it shall notify the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed or an adult member of his family to appear on the scene; their refusal to appear shall not hinder the execution. The person's work unit and the grass-roots organization in the place where his property is located shall send people to participate.

An inventory of the sealed-up or distrained property must be made and, after the inventory has been signed or sealed by the persons on the scene, a copy of it shall be given to the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed or to an adult member of his family.

[Article 174] The executor may assign the responsibility of safekeeping the sealed-up property to the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed, and he shall be held responsible for any losses incurred due to his fault.

[Article 175] After a property has been sealed up or distrained, the executor shall notify the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed to fulfil within the prescribed time limit the obligations specified in the legal document. If the person fails to fulfill his obligations before the deadline, his property shall be transferred to the unit concerned which may either buy it or sell it off.

[Article 176] The executor shall summon both parties to deliver and receive in person the property or negotiable instruments specified in the legal document, or he may pass on the property or instruments to the recipient who shall sign a receipt for them.

Any unit concerned that holds the property or instruments at issue shall pass them on in accordance with the notice of the people's court to assist in the execution, and the recipient shall sign for such property or instruments.

If a person other than a party to the lawsuit holds the property or instruments at issue, the people's court shall notify him to relinquish them. If he refuses to do so, execution shall be compelled.

[Article 177] If a compulsory eviction from a building or a plot of land has been decided, the president of the people's court shall sign and issue a public notice informing the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed to comply within a designated period of time. If he refuses to comply within the given time, the executor shall compel such execution.

When a compulsory execution is being effected, the work unit of the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed and the grass-roots organization in the locality of the building or land at issue shall send people to participate. The person or an adult member of his family shall be present; their refusal to be present shall not hinder the exectuion. The executor shall make a record of the particulars of the compulsory execution, and the people on the scene shall affix their signatures or seals to it.

The people's court shall assign personnel to transport the property involved in a compulsory execution to a designated location and deliver it to the person in whose favour the judgment is being executed or to an adult member of his family; if any loss is incurred due to the person's refusal to accept the property, he shall be held responsible for it.

[Article 178] The executor shall notify the person against whom a judgment or order is being executed to carry out the tasks required of him by the legal document. If he refuses to comply without justified reason, the people's court may entrust the tasks to a relevant unit or another person, and the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed shall bear the expenses for such an arrangement.

[Article 179] If the deposits of an enterprise, institution, state organ or public organization are involved in an execution, the money shall be transferred or assigned by the bank or the credit cooperative in accordance with the notice of the people's court requesting assistance in execution.

[Article 180] If the property of the person against whom a judgment or order is being executed is not enough to meet all the claims, he shall pay off his debts in the following order:

(1) Wages and living expenses;

(2) State taxes;

(3) Loans from state banks and credit cooperatives; and

(4) Other debts.

If his property is not enough to pay all the claims which belong to the same category, it shall be divided proportionally among those claimants.

[Article 181] If in the course of execution the two parties reconcile themselves and reach a compromise on their own initiative, the executor shall make a record of the terms of the compromise, and both parties shall affix their signatures or seals to it.

CHAPTER XVIII SUSPENSION AND CONCLUSION OF EXECUTION

[Article 182] The people's court shall order suspension of an execution under any of the following conditions:

(1) If the applicant indicates that the execution may be postponed;

(2) If a person not involved in the case presents a reasonable objection;

(3) If the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed is unable to pay off his debts within a short time;

(4) If one of the parties dies and it is necessary to wait for an heir to inherit the rights of the deceased or to discharge his obligations; or

(5) If other circumstances occur for which the people's court deems an execution should be suspended.

Execution shall be resumed when the circumstances which caused the suspension of execution have disapeared.

[Article 183] The people's court shall order conclusion of an execution under any of the following conditions:

(1) If the applicant withdraws his application;

(2) If the legal document on which the execution is based has been repealed;

(3) If the person against whom the judgment or order is being executed dies and there is no estate to be executed and no one to discharge his obligations;

(4) If the person who has the right to claim alimony or support for children or elders dies; or

(5) If other circumstances occur for which the people's court deems an execution should be concluded.

[Article 184] An order to suspend or conclude an execution shall become effective immediately after being served on the parties concerned.

PART V SPECIAL STIPULATIONS FOR CIVIL PROCEDURES INVOLVING FOREIGN INTERESTS

CHAPTER XIX GENERAL PRINCIPLES

[Article 185] The provisions of this Part shall be applicable to any foreign nationals, stateless persons and foreign enterprises and organizations that are engaged in civil lawsuits in the People's Republic of China. In situations not covered by the provisions of this Part, other relevant provisions of this Law shall be applied.

[Article 186] Foreign nationals and stateless persons who institute or respond to prosecutions in the people's courts shall have the same litigation rights and obligations as citizens of the People's Republic of China.

Foreign enterprises and organizations that institute or respond to prosecutions in the people's courts shall have litigation rights and obligations in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

[Article 187] Should the courts of a foreign country impose restrictions on the civil litigation rights of the citizens, enterprises and organizations of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese people's courts shall follow the principle of reciprocity regarding the civil litigation rights of the citizens, enterprises and organizations of that foreign country.

[Article 188] In the event of civil lawsuits brough against foreign nationals, foreign organizations or international organizations that enjoy judicial immunity, the people's courts shall deal with them according to the law of the People's Republic of China and any international treaties concluded or acceded to by China.

[Article 189] If an international treaty concluded or acceded to by the People's Republic of China contains provisions differing from those found in this Law, the provisions of the international treaty shall apply, unless the provisions are ones on which China has announced reservations.

[Article 190] The spoken and written languages commonly used in the People's Republic of China shall be used when the people's courts conduct trials of cases in which foreign nationals are involved. Translation may be provided at the request of the parties concerned, and the expenses shall be borne by them.

[Article 191] When foreign nationals, stateless persons or foreign enterprises or organizations appoint lawyers as agents ad litem to institute or respond to prosecutions in the people's courts, they must appoint lawyers of the People's Republic of China.

Any power of attorney sent to a Chinese lawyer or a Chinese citizen by a foreigner or stateless person who does not reside in the People's Republic of China must be notarized by a notarial agency in the country where that person resides and authenticated by the Chinese embassy or consulate there before it shall become effective.

CHAPTER XX ARBITRATION

[Article 192] When a dispute arises from the foreign economic, trade, transport or maritime activities of China, if the parties have reached a written agreement to submit the dispute for arbitration to the foreign affairs arbitration agency of the People's Republic of China, they shall not bring a suit in a people's court; if they have not reached such written agreement, they may bring a suit in a people's court.

If a dispute arises between foreign enterprises or organizations concerning economic, trade, transport or maritime activities, the parties may, in accordance with their written agreement, submit the dispute for arbitration to the foreign affairs arbitration agency of the People's Republic of China or they may file a suit in a people's court which has jurisdiction.

[Article 193] Once an arbitration award has been made on a case by the foreign affairs arbitration agency of the People's Republic of China, the parties shall not file a suit in a people's court.

[Article 194] When the foreign affairs arbitration agency of the People's Republic of China, upon the application of a party, considers it necessary to take preservative measures, it shall request an order from the intermediate people's court in the locality of the property of the person against whom such action is directed or from the intermediate people's court in the place where the arbitration agency is located.

[Article 195] If one party fails to comply with the award made by the foreign affairs arbitration agency of the People's Republic of China, the other party may apply to the intermediate people's court in the place where the arbitration agency is located or to the intermediate people's court in the locality of the property in question for enforcement of the award in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Law.

CHAPTER XII SERVICE AND TIME PERIODS

[Article 196] A people's court may serve litigation documents to a party who does not reside in the People's Republic of China using the methods below.

(1) It may serve the documents through diplomatic channels.

(2) It may entrust the service of the documents on a party of Chinese nationality to the embassy or consulate of the People's Republic of China in the country where the party resides.

(3) It may serve the documents by post if the law of the country where the party resides permits such service by post.

(4) It may entrust a court of the country where the party resides with the task of serving the documents or use other means specified by agreement, if that country has a judicial assistance agreement with the People's Republic of Chian.

(5) It may serve the documents through the party's agent ad litem.

(6) It may serve the documents by public notice, if none of the above-mentioned methods are practical. The documents shall be considered served six months after the date on which the public notice is issued.

[Article 197] If a defendant does not reside in the People's Republic of China, the people's court shall put an incoming dispatch stamp on the copy of the bill of complaint to be sent to the defendant and notify him to forward his bill of defence within 60 days after he receives the copy of the bill of complaint. An extension of the deadline may be granted at the defendant's request, but the extension may not exceed 30 days.

[Article 198] The time limit for a party who does not reside in the People's Republic of China to file an appeal against a judgment issued by a people's court of first instance shall be 60 days. The appellee must forward his bill of defence within 60 days after he has received his copy to the written appeal. If a party is unable to either file an appeal or forward a statement of defence within the specified time limit, and therefore requests an extension, an extension not to exceed 30 days may be granted.

CHAPTER XXIII PRESERVATIVE MEASURES IN LITIGATION

[Article 199] After a people's court has approved a party's application for preservative measures in litigation, it shall instruct the party against whom the application has been filed to provide a surety. If he refuses to provide the surety, the people's court shall issue an order of distraint on his property.

[Article 200] If a property distrained by a people's court needs to be kept under surveillance, it shall nofity the unit concerned to provide such surveillance, and the party against whom the application has been filed shall be responsible for all expensese thus incurred. However, the responsibility for any losses or expenses incurred due to errors in the application shall be borne by the applicant.

[Article 201] An order issued by a people's court to cancel a distraint shall be carried out by the executor or by the unit exercising surveillance which shall be notified thereof.

CHAPTER XXII JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE

[Article 202] The people's courts of China and foreign courts may entrust each other with certain litigation actions in accordance with international agreements concluded or acceded to by the People's Republic of China or on the principle of reciprocity.

Any matter entrusted to a Chinese court by a foreign court shall be rejected if it is incompatible with the sovereignty and security of the People's Republic of china; if the matter is outside its jurisdiction, the people's court shall return the entrusted matter to the foreign court with due explanation.

[Article 203] If a party applies for compulsory execution of a legally effective judgment made by a people's court or an award made by an arbitration agency of the People's Republic of China, but the person against whom the application has been filed or his property is not in China, the people's court may entrust a foreign court to assist the execution in accordance with any international treaty concluded or acceded to by China or on the principle of reciprocity.

[Article 204] When a people's court of the People's Republic of China is entrusted by a foreign court with the execution of a final judgment or order, the people's court shall examine it in accordance with any international treaty concluded or acceded to by the People's Republic of China or on the principle of reciprocity. If the court deems that the judgment or order does not violate the fundamental principles of the law of the People's Republic of China or her national and social interests, it shall order to recognize the validity of the judgment or order and execute it according to the procedure specified in this Law; otherwise, the people's court shall return the judgment or order to the foreign court.

[Article 205] When a foreign court commissions a people's court of the People's Republic of China to serve or assist in the execution of certain legal documents, or to take certain litigation actions on its behalf, it must provide a Chinese translation of those legal documents and the power of attorney.

When a people's court commissions a foreign court to serve or assist in the execution of certain legal documents, or to take certain litigation actions on its behalf, it must provide a foreign language translation of those legal documents and the power of attorney.

PART V SPECIAL STIPULATIONS FOR CIVIL PROCEDURES INVOLVING FOREIGN INTERESTS

CHAPTER XIX GENERAL PRINCIPLES

CHAPTER XX ARBITRATION

CHAPTER XXI SERVICE AND TIME PERIODS

CHAPTER XXII PRESERVATIVE MEASURES IN LITIGATION

CHAPTER XXIII JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE