By Richard W. Wigley King & Wood Mallesons’ IP Litigation Group
The framework for variants of class action-type litigation in the People’s Republic of China has been in place since the initial promulgation of the Civil Procedure Law of the P.R.C. (“CPL”) in 1991. The amended CPL provides requirements for filing a “joint litigation” for suits where “the object of the action is of the same category and a party consists of numerous persons” and where the parties may choose to elect a representative. Further as to whether standing is afforded the plaintiff and the filing requirements for such litigation, the CPL provides that “[t]he plaintiff must be a citizen, legal person, or an organization having a direct interest with the case … there must be a specific defendant … [and] there must be a specific claim and a specific factual basis and grounds ….” In short, the CPL provides a framework which allows for what is a variation of what is commonly referred to as a “class action lawsuit”.
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