19 May 2019David Lee and Nancy Qu

Progress on the Enforcement of Judgments in China

In 2012, the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China introduced the idea of a “blacklist” of dishonest debtors (officially named the List of Dishonest Enforcees). In the following years, multiple interpretations of these procedures by the Supreme People’s Court provided guidance on how enforcement measures could be used against debtors. These measures include a prohibition of extravagant consumption, judicial custody, and criminal punishment.

Once a restriction on extravagant consumption is applied, the judgment debtor, or the legal representative of the judgment debtor, can be prohibited from flying via airplane, traveling via high-speed train, or visiting different types of entertainment venues, etc. Judicial custody of the dishonest judicial debtor or the legal representative of the judicial debtor is apparently a great deterrent.

Criminal punishments for resistance to enforcement actions, including imprisonment of up to seven years and fines, have made the toughest dishonest judgment debtors reconsider their decisions to defy the court order to satisfy a judgment.

Case Studies

Below are two successful cases that show the strategic application of enforcement measures.

The plaintiff, a company based in the United States, obtained a favorable judgment in which RMB 4 million (approximately US $600,000) damages was awarded. The judgment was issued by Shenyang Intermediate Court in June 2016. When the judgment became effective, the court found out that the defendant was reluctant to pay the plaintiff the damages.

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