Access to Collective Litigations in China: A Tough Work

Jun Xie, Lijuan Sun


Since the legislation of the China’s 1991Civil Procedure Law (CPL), which explicitly permits three types of collective actions, multi-plaintiff groups have brought suits seeking compensation. With the high tempo in economy and the social reform, disputes related to collective parties arise rapidly, class rushes to China’s courtrooms. The increasing number of collective actions is one of the remarkable aspects of the civil litigation explosion in resent years in China. Series of “Judicial Interpretations” issued by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) which show SPC’s hostile attitude to the collective litigation have triggered the fire among the scholars. To release heavy pressure in the collective litigation, the SPC and the local courts turn to alternative resolutions, such as the mediation and the test case device. Attention should be paid to the SPC’s policies and their impact to the multi-plaintiff disputes so as to get a deep understanding about the collective litigation in China. The purpose of this article is to set forth that claimants’ access to collective litigation a very tough work under the SPC’s policies and other related guidelines.  

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