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The People's Republic of China (Mainland) Court Hierarchy
in Civil and Commercial Matters

by LONG Weidi
July 2009



Chinese (Mainland) Court System
 

Courts of General Jurisdiction

Courts of Special Jurisdiction

 

  • Supreme People's Court
  • High People's Court
  • Intermediate People's Courts
  • Basic People's Courts

  • Maritime Courts
  • Military Courts
  • Railway Transport Courts

Note:

(a) Cases involving the application of CISG are usually heard in the courts of general jurisdiction.
(b) CISG may also come into play in the maritime courts if a given maritime case concerns disputes over international sale of goods. The maritime courts are subject to the supervision of their Superior High People's Courts and the Supreme People's Court.


Supreme
People's Court
(Zuigao
Renmin Fayuan)
The Supreme People's Court rules on appeals against judgments at first instance by High People's Courts on international and interregional civil and commercial cases, including cases involving the application of the CISG.
 

The Supreme People's Court supervises the trial of international and interregional civil and commercial cases in lower courts including the High People's Courts and Maritime Courts.
 


High
People's Courts
Renmin Fayuan)
The High People's Courts decide at first instance significant international and interregional civil and commercial cases within their territorial jurisdiction, including cases involving the application of the CISG. The significance of a given case is usually measured by the amount of the subject matter.
 

The High People's Courts rule on appeals against judgments on international and interregional civil and commercial cases, including cases involving the application of the CISG, by inferior maritime courts and particular Intermediate People's Courts at first instance.
 
The High People's Courts supervise the trial of international and interregional civil and commercial cases in lower courts including the Maritime Courts and particular Intermediate People's Courts.
 
The High People's Courts decide about the enforcement of relevant Chinese (Mainland) judgments in international and interregional civil and commercial matters in accordance with Article 201 of the Civil Procedure Act (amended in 2007) and the judicial interpretations thereon. The High People's Courts also decide about the recognition and enforcement of relevant foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters in accordance with Article 3(5) of the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation on Jurisdiction over International Civil and Commercial Cases (Fashi [2002] No.5).
 


Intermediate
People's Courts
(Zhongji
Renmin Fayuan)

The Intermediate People's Courts designated by Article 1 of the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation on Jurisdiction over International Civil and Commercial Cases (Fashi [2002] No.5) decide at first instance international and interregional civil and commercial cases within their territorial jurisdiction, including cases involving the application of the CISG. These cases are usually less significant than those in their Superior High People's Courts in terms of the amount of the subject matter.
 

The Intermediate People's Courts rule on appeals against judgments on international and interregional civil and commercial cases, including cases involving the application of the CISG, by particular Basic People's Courts at first instance.
 
The Intermediate People's Courts decide about the enforcement of relevant Chinese (Mainland) judgments in international and interregional civil and commercial matters in accordance with Article 201 of the Civil Procedure Act (amended in 2007) and the judicial interpretations thereon. The Intermediate People's Courts designated by Article 1 of the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation on Jurisdiction over International Civil and Commercial Cases (Fashi [2002] No.5) decide about the recognition and enforcement of relevant foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters in accordance with Article 3(5) of the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation on Jurisdiction over International Civil and Commercial Cases (Fashi [2002] No.5).
 


Basic
People's Courts
(Jiceng
Renmin Fayuan)

The Basic People's Courts designated by Article 1 of the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation on Jurisdiction over International Civil and Commercial Cases (Fashi [2002] No.5) decide at first instance international and interregional civil and commercial cases within their territorial jurisdiction, including cases involving the application of the CISG. These cases are usually less significant than those in their superior Intermediate People's Courts in terms of the amount of the subject matter.
 
The Basic People's Courts decide about the enforcement of relevant Chinese (Mainland) judgments in international and interregional civil and commercial matters in accordance with Article 201 of the Civil Procedure Act (amended in 2007) and the judicial interpretations thereon. The Basic People's Courts designated by Article 1 of the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation on Jurisdiction over International Civil and Commercial Cases (Fashi [2002] No.5) decide about the recognition and enforcement of relevant foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters in accordance with Article 3(5) of the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation on Jurisdiction over International Civil and Commercial Cases (Fashi [2002] No.5).

 


©Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated July 31, 2009
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