First, in China, briefings and arguments from either party involved in a proceeding may be submitted to the judges during the hearing within tight time constraints. Consequently, parties may be surprised when new documents or requests appear during the hearing, and lawyers must be ready to deal with unexpected new information or circumstances on the spot. In most Western jurisdictions such information or requests must be submitted at certain times beforehand so each party can adequately prepare for the hearing. This Chinese litigation practice may create uncertainty for the parties involved, hindering their capacity to represent themselves to the best of their ability.
China civil litigation proceedings and the conduct of Chinese judges can often seem very authoritative, almost intimidating. In reality, much of Chinese civil litigation procedure is not as clear-cut or well-defined as it may appear. These ambiguities may pose problems for parties unfamiliar with civil litigation in China. Outlined below are some of the key areas of Chinese civil litigation proceedings which require your attention.