Online litigation rules of people’s court (Excerpts)
(Adopted at the 1838th meeting of the judicial committee of the Supreme People’s Court on May 18, 2021 and effective as of August 1, 2021)
In order to promote and standardize online litigation activities, improve online litigation rules, protect the legitimate rights of litigants and other litigation participants according to law, and ensure fair and efficient trial of cases, in accordance with the criminal procedure law of the people’s Republic of China, the Civil Procedure Law of the people’s Republic of China, the administrative procedure law of the people’s Republic of China and other relevant laws and regulations, These rules are formulated in combination with the actual work of the people’s court.
Article 1 the people’s court, the parties and other litigation participants may rely on the electronic litigation platform (hereinafter referred to as the “litigation platform”) to complete all or part of the litigation links such as filing, mediation, evidence exchange, inquiry, trial and service online through the Internet or private network.
Online litigation activities have the same legal effect as offline litigation activities.
Article 2 the people’s court shall follow the following principles when conducting online litigation:
（1） The principle of fairness and efficiency. Carry out online litigation activities in strict accordance with the law, improve the trial process, improve the working mechanism, strengthen technical support, improve judicial efficiency and ensure judicial justice.
（2） Principle of legality and voluntariness. Respect and protect the right of the parties and other litigation participants to choose the mode of litigation. Without the consent of the parties and other litigation participants, the people’s court shall not force or force the application of online litigation in a disguised form.
（3） Principle of rights protection. Fully protect the litigation rights of the parties, strengthen the obligations of prompt, explanation and disclosure, and shall not reduce the litigation links and impair the litigation rights and interests of the parties at will.
（4） The principle of benefiting the people. Optimize online litigation services, improve the function of litigation platform, strengthen the application of information technology, reduce the litigation cost of parties and improve the efficiency of dispute resolution. Give overall consideration to the judicial needs of different groups, strengthen litigation guidance for special groups such as minors, the elderly and the disabled, and provide corresponding judicial facilities.
（5） Principle of safety and reliability. We should safeguard national security according to law, protect state secrets, trade secrets, personal privacy and personal information, and effectively guarantee the security of online litigation data and information. Standardize technology application to ensure technology neutrality and platform neutrality.
Article 3 the people’s court may apply online litigation to the following cases by comprehensively considering the circumstances of the case, the wishes of the parties, technical conditions and other factors:
（1） Civil and administrative litigation cases;
（2） Cases of criminal quick adjudication procedure, cases of commutation and parole, and criminal cases that are not suitable for offline trial due to other special reasons;
（3） Civil special procedures, supervision procedures, bankruptcy procedures and non litigation execution review cases;
（4） Cases of civil and administrative execution and cases of execution of civil proceedings incidental to criminal proceedings;
（5） Other cases suitable for online trial.
Article 4 when conducting online litigation, the people’s court shall obtain the consent of the parties and inform them of the specific links, main forms, rights and obligations, legal consequences and operation methods applicable to online litigation.
The people’s court shall, according to the corresponding expression of intention of the parties to the online litigation, make the following treatment:
（1） If the parties choose to apply the online litigation, the people’s court may not seek their consent, and the corresponding litigation link may be conducted online directly;
（2） If all parties agree to apply online litigation, the corresponding litigation can be conducted online;
（3） Some parties agree to apply online litigation. If some parties disagree, the corresponding litigation links can be conducted online by the consenting party and offline by the parties with different opinions;
（4） If a party only chooses or agrees to apply online litigation to some litigation links, the people’s court shall not presume that it agrees to apply online litigation to other litigation links.
Where online litigation is applicable to a case involving a people’s Procuratorate, the consent of the people’s Procuratorate shall be obtained.
Article 5 in the course of litigation, if the parties lack online litigation ability, do not have online litigation conditions, or the corresponding litigation links are not suitable for online handling, the people’s court shall transfer the corresponding litigation links to offline.
If the parties have agreed to apply online litigation to the corresponding litigation links, but they renege in the process of litigation, they shall make a claim within a reasonable period before carrying out the corresponding litigation activities. After examination, if the people’s court considers that there is no improper situation such as deliberately delaying the litigation, the corresponding litigation links can be transferred to offline.
In mediation, evidence exchange, inquiry, hearing, court trial and other litigation links, if one party requests other parties and litigation participants to participate in the litigation offline, it shall put forward specific reasons. After examination, if the people’s court considers that the case is difficult and complex, the witness needs to testify on the spot, it is necessary to provide evidence offline, cross examination, statement and debate, the corresponding litigation links can be transferred to offline.
Article 6 if a party has agreed to apply for online litigation, but does not participate in online litigation activities or make corresponding litigation acts without justified reasons, and fails to apply for offline litigation within a reasonable time limit, it shall bear the corresponding legal consequences in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law and judicial interpretation.
Article 7 litigants participating in online litigation shall first complete real name registration on the litigation platform. The people’s court shall verify the real name mobile phone number, resident identity document number, passport number, unified social credit code and other information of the litigation subject by means of online comparison of certificates and licenses and authentication of identity authentication platform, so as to confirm the authenticity of the identity of the litigation subject. After the litigant completes the identity authentication online, he obtains the special account to log in to the litigation platform.
Litigants participating in online litigation shall properly keep the special account and password of the litigation platform. Unless there is evidence to prove that the account is stolen or the system is wrong, the act of logging in to the litigation platform with a special account shall be regarded as the act of the authenticated person.
When conducting online mediation, evidence exchange, court trial and other litigation activities, the people’s court shall verify the identity of the litigation subject again; If necessary, the identity shall be further verified offline.
Article 8 people’s courts, specially invited mediation organizations and specially invited mediators may carry out online mediation activities through litigation platforms and people’s court mediation platforms. Online mediation shall be conducted in accordance with the relevant provisions of laws and judicial interpretations, and state secrets, trade secrets, personal privacy and other information that should not be disclosed shall be protected according to law.