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3 Things You Have to Know About How Chinese Judges Think in Commercial Litigation - CTD 101 Series

Wed, 01 Dec 2021
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌


In some Chinese local courts, you may find judges lack commercial knowledge, flexibility and time to understand transactions beyond the contract text.

Original Link: 3 Things You Have to Know About How Chinese Judges Think in Commercial Litigation

1. Chinese judges lack adequate business knowledge

Most Chinese judges in the local courts are very young, usually between 30-40 years old. They have been admitted to the court since graduating from law school and have no other professional experiences, so they are not familiar with various commercial transactions.

So, they cannot easily understand the actual agreement through the hearing, and then make a ruling according to the agreement.

2. Chinese judges lack sufficient flexibility

The Chinese courts usually supervise judges in a strict manner to prevent them from breaking the law in trial activities. This kind of supervision is sometimes so demanding that the judges have to be rigid when making judgments and dare not exercise their discretion.

3. Chinese judges lack enough time

The litigation explosion has existed in China for over a decade, especially in economically developed regions, which are the most active areas of international trade in China at the same time.

Judges in these regions have long been overwhelmed by a caseload beyond their capacity.

The workload of Chinese judges is extremely heavy, which also causes them to not have enough energy to fully understand the parties’ transactions, and therefore choose to strictly interpret the contract, which is the most time-saving and least likely to be accused.

In conclusion, we suggest that you try to sign a well-written contract with your Chinese business partner at any time. If you have reached a new arrangement during the performance of the contract, please sign a formal supplementary agreement.

If you fail to do this, please at least take the trouble to confirm the details of the transactions in emails and online chatting records.



The Cross-border Trade Dispute 101 Series (‘CTD 101 Series’) provides an introduction to China-related cross-border trade dispute, and covers the knowledge essential to cross-border trade dispute resolution and debt collection.


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Photo by Wells Chow on Unsplash

Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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