SPC releases one more guideline on handling epidemic-related civil cases

(english.court.gov.cn)      Updated : 2020-06-18

Luo Dongchuan, vice-president of the SPC, makes a report at the press conference. [Photo/court.gov.cn]

The Supreme People's Court held a press conference on June 16 to release a set of guidelines on handling civil cases related to the COVID-19 epidemic.

This is the third set of such guidelines released, and differs from its precedents in that it focuses on law applications in carriage contracts and foreign-related maritime and commercial cases stemming from or strongly affected by the epidemic, according to Luo Dongchuan, vice-president of the SPC, at the conference.

The set of guidelines was drafted with three principles which are targeting at servicing national overall work, sticking to the problem-oriented approach and dissolving disputes at the front end, said Luo.

It sets out 19 articles in nine sections.

The guidelines can also be divided into four parts. The first part details stipulations in previous guidelines on litigation parties, evidence, statutes of limitation and periods of proceedings; the second specifies application of force majeure rules.

The third is about legal issues in carriage contract, foreign-related commercial and maritime cases and maritime trade cases which are affected by the epidemic.

The final part guides courts dealing with epidemic-related commercial and maritime cases to actively open green litigation channels, optimize cross-jurisdiction litigation system and improve the rules and instructions of online litigation service. The courts may refer to the guidelines in hearing such cases related to the Hong Kong and Macao SARs and Taiwan province.