A revision of the PRC Civil Procedure Law
("CPL") that comes into force on 1
January 2013 aims to strengthen court efficiency, clarify the rules
of evidence and rights of litigants, and improve judicial
One of the most relevant amendments for foreign parties is the
creation of pre-arbitration interim measures and certain new types
of interim measures.
For the first time, parties are now allowed to seek
pre-arbitration interim measures in support of arbitrations that
will be seated in mainland China. The specific rules are
essentially the same as those for pre-litigation interim measures.
Pre-arbitration interim measures can be requested directly from the
competent court. This differs from interim measures that are
requested once the arbitration has commenced. In that case the
application has to be made to the arbitration institute, which will
forward the application to the competent court.
Three elements will be taken into account when judging whether
the interim measures can be ordered:
interim measures can only be ordered under the circumstances
where evidence might be destroyed, assets might disappear or other
prejudice might be caused
applicants must provide security when applying for
pre-arbitration interim measures for an amount to be determined by
the court (taking into account the attached assets)
the interim measures will be lifted if the applicant fails to
commence litigation or arbitration within 30 days.
New types of interim measures are created apart from existing
evidence preservation and asset preservation. Under the amended
CPL, courts now have the power to request a party to take action as
instructed or to prohibit a party from doing something prior to the
litigation or arbitration.
Under the amended CPL, courts are now obligated to make legally
effective judgments and rulings publicly available except for those
involving state secrets, trade secrets or personal privacy. This is
intended to facilitate legal practitioners to have access to the
court's practice and the rationale of the court's
The amendments of the CPL undoubtedly mark an improvement in the
efficiency and transparency of the Chinese judicial system and
provide more flexibility for parties. Its actual effect, especially
as relates to how it will affect foreign related litigations and
arbitrations, remains to be tested in practice.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
We discuss Robinson Helicopter Company Incorporated v McDermott  HCA 22 .
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).