China: New Opinions By China's Supreme People's Court – Guidance On Optimizing Judicial Resources (Chinese)

Last Updated: 24 October 2016
Article by Richard Bell and Leslie Shen

概述

2016年9月13日,中国最高人民法院发布《关于进一步推进案件繁简分流优化司法资源配置的若干意见》("意见")。该意见将于发布当日生效。

在本期法律更新中,我们将聚焦该意见的一些重要内容,即其中被认为可能是对文书送达地址和律师费承担进行再定义的相关条款。

背景

意见是今后一个时期指导全国法院进行繁简分流改革的纲领性文件,旨在破解"案多人少"这一供需失衡的问题。为了更好地满足人民群众对审判质量和效率的需求,最高法院已经将深入推进案件繁简分流优化司法资源配置作为今年的工作重心。除此之外,近年来的司法实践中,文件送达一直是困扰各级人民法院和当事人的一大问题,由于送达地址或方式不明确而导致诉讼进程被拖延的情况时有发生。同时,根据中国法,一般情况下诉讼双方自负其律师费。因此当一方当事人滥用诉讼权利或拖延承担诉讼义务时,诉讼对方或第三人的利益可能受到进一步损害,而此时律师费由各方当事人自负的大原则在一定程度上不利于无过错方就相应损害进行追诉。

在意见起草过程中,最高人民法院在湖南省、浙江省等地进行了一系列调研,召开了多次研讨会和座谈会,同人大代表、政协会员、法学专家、资深律师等进行深入探讨,并且鼓励一线法官和广大群众发表意见建议。可以说,该意见是在充分调研论证和广泛征求意见的基础上形成的一项改革成果,总的来说,其不仅对法官,还对所有诉讼中的法律实体具有指导意义。

意见主要内容

意见共22条,第1条为总体性要求,第2-15条主要着眼于完善诉讼程序,大体按照审判环节来安排,从立案、送达、程序简化、机制创新、庭前会议、庭审、裁判文书、二审衔接等方面加以规定;第17-22条主要立足于优化资源配置,基本按照合理配置法院内部审判资源、充分利用法院外部司法资源依次作出规定。

具体而言,针对上述关于送达困难和律师费分配不当的问题,意见规定如下:

第3条:完善送达程序与送达方式。当事人在纠纷发生之前约定送达地址的,人民法院可以将该地址作为送达诉讼文书的确认地址。当事人起诉或者答辩时应当依照规定填写送达地址确认书。积极运用电子方式送达;当事人同意电子送达的,应当提供并确认传真号、电子信箱、微信号等电子送达地址。

第22条:当事人存在滥用诉讼权利、拖延承担诉讼义务等明显不当行为,造成诉讼对方或第三人直接损失的,人民法院可以根据具体情况对无过错方依法提出的赔偿合理的律师费用等正当要求予以支持。

简评

"案多人少"的矛盾已经成为困扰各级法院的难题,尤其是基层法院。据上文所述之新闻发布会报道,全国有80%的案件由基层法院审理,但其中仅有七成适用简易程序,然而在美国相应的数据为95%。易言之,基层法院的法官总是处于惊人的裁判压力之下,既要保证审判效率,又不能放弃审判质量,这无疑是及其困难和辛苦的。

此外,因送达地址或方式不明确而导致诉讼进程被拖延的问题,在近年来涉外案件数量大幅增加的背景下显得尤为突出。同时,在诉讼双方自负其律师费的大原则下,一旦诉讼对方滥用其诉讼权利或拖延承担诉讼义务造成直接损失,若无过错方进行追诉需要额外负担律师费,可能会不利于其充分行使正当的诉讼权利。

因此,最新发布的意见将在接下来一段时间内非常重要,不仅仅是对法官,更是对希望通过诉讼实现自身诉请的各方当事人。经过进一步研读该意见,我们强烈建议客户:

  1.  增进对诉讼信息化建设的了解,尽快适应电子送达、电子支付令和远程视频开庭以及同步视频作证等新型信息化诉讼程序,同时根据法院引导,使用电子诉讼材料、运用电子卷宗移送等,这些诉讼程序信息化革新将很可能成为未来一段时间的主导。此外,双方最好就文书送达地址达成协议,这样可能可以在未来诉讼过程中提供非常大的帮助。律师事务所等地址是否能够被列为双方协议的文书送达地址可能还需进一步观察相关实践——如果可行,这将为解决诉讼中的送达难问题提供极大的便利。
  2. 中国法下,一般原则是诉讼双方自负其律师费,但这一情况可能在未来有所改变。根据《意见》第22条的规定,当事人存在滥用诉讼权利、拖延承担诉讼义务等明显不当行为,造成诉讼对方或第三人直接损失的,人民法院可以根据具体情况对无过错方依法提出的赔偿合理的律师费用等正当要求予以支持。不过我们仍需要更多时间和更多官方解释来观察法院如何定义"滥用诉讼权利"和"拖延承担诉讼义务"。

New Opinions By China's Supreme People's Court – Guidance On Optimizing Judicial Resources (Chinese)

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