Guiding Opinions of the Supreme People's Court on Preventing and Punishing False Litigation

 2018-05-22  10


Guiding Opinions of the Supreme People's Court on Preventing and Punishing False Litigation


· Document Number:No. 13 [2016] of the Supreme People's Court

· Area of Law: State Organs

· Level of Authority: Documents of Judicial Interpretation Nature

· Date issued:06-20-2016

· Effective Date:06-20-2016

· Status: Effective

· Issuing Authority: Supreme People's Court

 

Guiding Opinions of the Supreme People's Court on Preventing and Punishing False Litigation
(No. 13 [2016] of the Supreme People's Court)
At present, phenomena of false litigation in civil and commercial trials have not only seriously infringed upon the lawful rights and interests of parties not involved in the case and destroyed social integrity, but also disturbed normal litigation order and impaired judicial authority and judicial credibility. In response to public concerns, the people's courts at various levels have attached great importance to false litigation and exerted great efforts to explore various effective measures for preventing and punishing false litigation activities.
1. False litigation generally contains the following factors: (1) purpose of seeking illegal interests by evading laws, regulations, or national policies; (2) malicious collusion between both parties; (3) fabrication of facts; (4) making use of legitimate civil proceedings; and (5) infringement upon the national interests, public interests, or lawful rights and interest of parties not involved in the case.
2. In practice, special attention shall be paid to the following circumstances: (1) the parties are spouses, friends, and those of other intimate relations, or affiliated enterprises and those of other common interest relations; (2) there is serious unconformity between the subject matter the plaintiff claims for judicial protection and its economic conditions; (3) the facts and grounds based on which the plaintiff files a lawsuit obviously do not conform to common sense; (4) there is no substantive dispute over civil rights and interests between both parties; and (5) despite of insufficient case evidence, both parties still voluntarily and rapidly reach a mediation agreement and file an application with the people's court for issuing a mediation document.
3. The people's courts at various levels shall post warning and publicity signs in case-docketing windows and courtrooms and at the same time, expressly notify the parties of the legal liabilities they should assume if they participate in false litigation in the written warning on civil litigation risks of the people's court, and guide the parties to exercising their litigation rights according to the law and participating in litigation in good faith.
4. In the trial of cases in such fields with frequent occurrences of false litigation as private lending, division of property at the time of divorce, offsetting debts with property, labor dispute, division (combination) of companies, and enterprise bankruptcy, the people's court shall exert more efforts to evidence examination. Where there might be possible false litigation, the people's courts shall appropriately exert more efforts to investigation and evidence collection according to its authority.
5. Where a party is suspected of committing false litigation, the people's court shall summon the party to the court in person to accept inquiry about the relevant case facts. Except statutory causes, the people's court shall require witnesses to appear in court. The people's court shall give full play to the roles of the provisions of judicial interpretations of the Civil Procedure Law on the signing of letters of guarantee by the parties and witnesses and explore an oath system of the parties and witnesses.
6. Where, during litigation, one party expressly admits facts raised by the other party that are unfavorable to himself or itself and such admission does not conform to common sense, the people's court shall make further investigation and prudently identify such facts. Where the ascertained facts are inconsistent with those admitted by the party, it is allowed to not confirm such facts.
7. The people's court shall exert more efforts to the examination of mediation agreements. Where both parties voluntarily reach a mediation agreement and file an application with the people's court for issuing a mediation document, the people's court shall, in light of basic case facts, attach importance to examining whether the mediation agreement impairs the national interests, public interests, or the lawful rights and interests of the parties not involved in the case; as for cases regarding judicial confirmation of people's mediation agreements, the people's court shall, according to the requirements of judicial interpretations of the Civil Procedure Law, attach importance to examining the authenticity of basic legal relationship.
8. Where, in the process of enforcing notarized debt instruments, arbitration awards, written arbitral mediation, and other legal instruments, there might be such circumstances as malicious collusion and fabrication of facts between both parties, the people's court shall exert more efforts to substantive examination and attach importance to examining whether the relevant legal instruments impair the national interests, public interests, or lawful rights and interests of the parties not involved in the case. If the aforesaid circumstances exist, the people's court shall render a ruling that such legal instruments should not be enforced. When necessary, the people's court may raise judicial suggestions to the arbitration institution or notary organ.
9. The people's court shall exert more efforts to open trials and increase transparency in the trial of cases. Where there is possible legal interest relation between a party and the case-handling result, the people's court may appropriately notify the party of participating in the litigation based on its authority, avoid damage to the party's civil rights and interests, and prevent false litigation activities.
10. Where, in the trial of cases regarding withdrawal by a third party, objection to enforcement by a party not involved in the case, or application for retrial by a party not involved in the case, the people's court identifies that the effective judgment involves false litigation, it shall make corrections in a timely manner so as to safeguard the litigation right and substantive right of the party not involved in the case; and at the same time, it shall prevent the relevant personnel from committing false litigation by using the aforesaid legal systems and impairing the interests and rights of legitimate right holders in the original litigation.
11. Where false litigation is ascertained and the plaintiff applies for withdrawing the lawsuit, the people's court shall not approve the application and shall reject the application in accordance with the provisions of Article 112 of the Civil Procedure Law.
12. For participants in false litigation, the people's court shall appropriately intensify the legal application of fine, detention, and other compulsory measures against impairment of civil litigation; where false litigation impairs the civil rights and interests of others, participants in false litigation shall assume compensation liabilities; if false litigation activities are suspected of constituting criminal offenses including crimes of false litigation, fraud, and contract fraud, the civil trial department shall transfer the relevant clues and case materials to the investigation organ according to the law.
13. The people's court shall establish a blacklist system of dishonest persons engaging in false litigation. The people's court shall include false litigation participants in the list of dishonest persons and gradually integrate such list of dishonest persons into the relevant existing information platforms and social credit systems, and intensify punishments against them.
14. Where the personnel of the people's court participate in false litigation activities, the people's court shall strictly punish them in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Judges Law, the Basic Rules on Professional Ethnics of Judges, and the Code of Conduct for Judges.
15. Where agents ad litem participate in false litigation activities, the people's court shall punish them according to the law and issue judicial suggestions to the judicial administrative department, the bar association, or trade association.
16. Where identification institutions or identifiers participate in false litigation activities, the people's court may, in light of the seriousness of circumstances, impose admonitions on them, order them to refund identification charges, disenroll them from the shortlist of professional identification institutions authorized by people's courts, and issue judicial suggestions to the judicial administrative department or trade association.
17. The people's courts shall take the initiative to communicate and coordinate with the relevant department to seek such department's support and cooperation, and explore the establishment of a comprehensive governance mechanism involving multi-department coordination and cooperation. The people's courts shall deter false litigation activities by issuance of model cases regarding false litigation to the public and other diversified means.
18. The people's courts at various levels shall, in a timely manner, organize judges and personnel to study and learn various economic and social policies of the Central Government and local governments and accurately predict the types of false litigation cases that might appear in the judicial field, and may also increase their judicial capacities of identifying false litigation by adopting such various forms as analysis of model cases, exchange on trial business, and court trial observation.
Supreme People's Court
June 20, 2016