In the past three decades or so, the world has witnessed the fast economic growth of China, which has become one of the largest markets in the world. With increasing cross-border transactions between China and the rest of the world, commercial disputes are likely to increase accordingly. Many of these disputes may end up in foreign courts or before arbitration tribunals, and prevailing parties may need to seek recognition and enforcement in China of foreign court judgments or arbitral awards. This paper considers whether this is possible and how it can be done in China.
II. Basic Legal Framework on Enforcement of Foreign Court Judgments
A. The PRC Civil Procedure Law The basic rule on recognition and enforcement of foreign court judgments in China is set forth in the PRC Civil Procedure Law.1 Articles 265 – 266 under Chapter 28 of the Civil Procedure Law, which is titled “Judicial Assistance,” contain the following relevant provisions:
Article 265 If a legally effective judgment or ruling made by a foreign court seeks the recognition and enforcement of a people’s court of the People’s Republic of China, the party may directly apply to the intermediate people’s court of the People’s Republic of China that has the jurisdiction over the case for the recognition and enforcement, or the foreign court may, according to the provisions of the international treaties concluded or acceded to by the People's Republic of China or based on the principle of reciprocity, request the recognition and enforcement of a people's court.