Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For Better Court Ruling Enforcement: Civil Procedure Law Amended

The standing committee of the National People’s Congress adopted (in Chinese) a draft amendment to the Civil Procedure Law of China on October 28, 2007, and the amendment will come into effect on April 1, 2008.

Aimed at solving persistent problems with the enforcement of civil judgments, the Amendment has been expected to improve the execution of court rulings. The following sheds some light on the background of the adoption of the Amendment:

Chinese courts found that in 2006, 2.13 million civil case rulings had not been carried out by the due date. Almost half of those rulings have still not been implemented, and the verdicts remain empty words on a piece of judicial paper.

The amendment multiplies by a factor of ten fines for those who refuse to execute a civil court ruling -- fines climb from 1,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan (1300 U.S. dollars) for individual offenders, and from 30,000 yuan to 300,000 yuan (39,000 U.S. dollars) for companies.

The law also said that those who refuse to cooperate with civil courts in making sure a ruling is executed may be detained.

Hopefully, the Amendment will give the Civil Procedure Law some sharp teeth, and one can only hope those charged with the authority and duty to carry out enforcement duties will actually “bite” hard.

Read this for more background info regarding the Amendment.

Calling China “Names”

I have read or heard many labels used to describe China lately.

For example, some call it “the country of contradictions” while others conventionally label it the “Asian Dragon.” Still others view it as “strategic competitor” or “the China Threat.” Meanwhile, the Chinese government calls its country “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

The latest one I read comes from the governor of the State of Tennessee, Gov. Phil Bredesen, who just wrapped up a nine-day business trip to China along with some 100 strong business delegates. On his way home somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, he wrote down his thoughts about China, which can be shortened to four items:

First, an insight about America: The Chinese are willing to do big things; we need to rediscover that audacity here at home. I've felt for a long time that we confine ourselves far too much to frittering around the edges of opportunities — in infrastructure, in transportation, in health care.

Second, China is enormous; 1.3 billion people is a quarter of the world…wealth is definitely there and growing exponentially. China is having its coming-out party.

Third, the political system in China is unique and defies labels…

And fourth, we need to work hard to open more doors to China. I want more trade missions, and I especially want more Chinese students here and more American students to go to China…

Despite Governor’s comment that China “defies labels”, he defines China as, “A one party capitalist country with no Bill of Rights.” I thought that is a pretty good one.

Read the Governor’s report here.