Central administration system for foreign civil and commercial cases
The central administration system for foreign civil and commercial cases is an important measure adopted by the Supreme People's Court to deal with challenges in foreign trials after China joined the WTO.
The Supreme People's Court assigned foreign civil and commercial cases for central administration system to four kinds of people's courts. First, an economic and technological development zone court approved by the State Council; second, an intermediate court in the capital of each province, autonomous region and municipality; third, an intermediate people's court in special economic zones and municipalities with independent planning status; fourth, other intermediate and higher people's courts appointed by the Supreme People's Court. So far, 212 intermediate people's courts and 214 basic people's courts have jurisdiction over foreign civil and commercial cases. A team of professional judges has been built. A foreign commercial affairs judicial pattern featuring a designated court, a special judicial organ and professional judges has been established. Judicial work on foreign civil and commercial cases has improved significantly.
Foreign civil and commercial cases have changed a lot in nature, numbers and distribution areas as China continues to deepen its opening-up, implements the “Belt and Road Initiative” and pushes forward free trade zone development. The fourth national foreign commercial and maritime affairs judicial work conference proposed ideas to improve jurisdiction mechanisms for foreign civil and commercial cases and asked for uniform differential jurisdiction standards. The meeting also assigned certain cases concerning open economy to special judicial systems to deal with the changes in opening-up development. The Supreme People's Court will implement legal work on foreign affairs as required by the CPC Central Committee’s decisions to comprehensively push for law-based governance. It will also follow the fourth five-year people’s courts reform plan to optimize legal resources distribution and improve the central administration system for foreign civil and commercial cases. In that way the legitimate rights and interests of all parties involved can be protected.