Mainland China sets stringent conditions for the application of the doctrine of forum non conveniens (see MHP’s column in the July/August 2016 issue of China Business Law Journal). The author searched on the retrieval website for judgments and found 50 cases relating to the doctrine of forum non conveniens.
Among them, the proportion of cases that must apply the doctrine in final rulings and be transferred to jurisdiction of foreign courts is quite low. A considerable number of cases were dismissed by the courts because they did not comply with the fourth or fifth provision under article 532 of the Interpretation on the Application of the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China.
The main reason is that few cases can satisfy the very broad condition that they do not involve “the interest of the state, citizens, corporations or other organizations”. Meanwhile, the provisions that “the main facts in dispute do not occur in mainland China” and “it’s quite difficult for the court in mainland China to ascertain the facts and applicable law” are also vague, and mainly depend on the discretion of the judges regarding the definition of “main facts” and “quite difficult”.
Sally Wang is a partner at Martin Hu & Partners
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