China News Service:
We have noticed the new document for judicial and law enforcement institutions on handling legal issues concerning the resumption of production alongside the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic made clear that the coercive measures should be used with caution. What specific measures does the Supreme People's Court have in this regard? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. During the epidemic prevention and control period, the new document has put forward clear requirements on the issue of cautious enforcement measures. For the courts, the requirements are mainly relevant to enforcement measures usually taken during the trial stage of a case. It also manifests itself in the enforcement of a large number of civil and commercial cases.
In response to this, on Feb. 3, the Supreme People's Court issued a special work notice, requiring courts across the country to effectively implement the concept of good faith and non-abusive enforcement. For example, if the implementation of enforcement measures, such as the seizure, distraint and freezing of assets, make it difficult for enterprises to resume work and maintain normal operations, then the courts shall be required to enact a reasonable implementation plan according to the actual situations of the parties involved.
In other words, while protecting the lawful rights and interests of all parties, it is necessary to choose enforcement measures that have the least impact on economic production. When seizing real estate, assets or equipment, the courts should be flexible and try their best to make effective use of them. For those applicants that themselves are difficult enterprises, the courts should strengthen enforcement, ensure the timely availability of funds, and help enterprises resume work and production. For two parties that both are difficult enterprises, the courts should actively guide the two parties to reach a settlement agreement based on the actual situations of the enterprises' operations, and help them overcome difficulties together.
While actively promoting resumption of work and production, we also need to consider other factors that demonstrate the humanitarian care of the judiciary. For example, if the applicant is in urgent need of money to treat illness or save lives, then the protection of life and health should be given priority. The lawful rights and interests of the applicant should not be arbitrarily harmed by the excuse of resuming work and production.
At the same time, in order to handle the large number of civil and commercial cases in a timely and efficient manner, courts at all levels should make full use of the smart court system that connects all courts nationwide through the IT application. Litigation services are not to be interrupted during the epidemic prevention and control period and cases must continue to be handled well.
We are also implementing online filing, online court sessions, and online auxiliary enforcement, as well as non-contact judicial safeguards and litigation services. These measures will be significant for the resumption of work and production, and also for resolving the conflicts between enterprises and their civil and commercial cases. Thank you.