By Guan Feng and Tang Lu King & Wood Mallesons’ Dispute Resolution group

Recently, represented by Ken Wu, Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands, China officially signed the Hague Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements (“the Convention”). The Convention is an international treaty that legally binds Contracting Parties to a uniform set of rules relating to civil and commercial matters. It currently has 33 Contracting Parties, mostly EU member states (excluding Denmark). Ukraine, the U.S. and China have not yet ratified the Convention under domestic law. We are still waiting for China to announce whether it has reservations about any of the provisions.
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作者:胡梅 Holly Blackwell  金杜律师事务所争议解决组 上海分所

美国的诉讼证据开示制度对于缺乏美国诉讼经验的当事人来说非常陌生,对于中方当事人来说更是如此,因为中国诉讼程序与其大相径庭。中国法下的诉讼程序与其他大陆法系国家类似,双方当事人只须提供支持己方诉求或抗辩的相关证据既可。美国证据开示制度则不仅要求当事人提供对己方有利的证据,也要求当事人提供对其不利的证据。美国证据开示规则能使诉讼当事人较容易地得到对方、甚至是第三方的信息,例如公司内部电子邮件、文件、记录和规章。即使此类信息的披露会违反中国法律规定,一方也可以要求对方披露所需信息。尽管海牙公约提供了一条取得中国境内证据的途径,但当一方当事人在美国法庭提起诉讼时,美国法庭并不总倾向于适用《海牙公约》[i]的程序。从近期的一些美国案例中,我们不难看出要求中方当事人出示证据的困难性,以及中方当事人就此问题在美国诉讼中面临的挑战。


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By Meg Utterback and Holly Blackwell King & Wood’s Dispute Resolution Group

The concept of US discovery is very alien to the uninitiated litigant and particularly foreign to Chinese parties, because the Chinese litigation process is far different.  China proceedings are conducted much like other civil code jurisdictions, with the parties proffering only evidence that supports the claims or defenses.  US discovery is intended to uncover both supporting and damaging evidence.  US discovery rules provide litigants liberal access to information possessed by opponents, and even third parties, such as internal company emails, documents, records, and policies.  Disclosure of requested information may be required, even though such disclosure would be prohibited under PRC law.  The Hague Convention provides one avenue of obtaining evidence located in China, but US courts are not always willing to require the use of the Hague Convention procedures where a party has submitted to the jurisdiction of the US court.  Recent US cases demonstrate the challenges of requiring discovery from Chinese parties and the challenges that Chinese parties face in US courts.


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