Chinese Travel Law: Pragmatic Protection for Travellers Granted by the Supreme People's Court
32 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2013
Date Written: June 21, 2013
Die deutsche Version dieses Artikels finden Sie unter: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2200318
On October 26, 2010, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) of the People's Republic of China has promulgated a judicial interpretation regarding travel disputes. The interpretation is titled "Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in the Trial of Cases about Travel Disputes". The provisions are effective since November 1, 2010.
The Chinese contract law of 1999 does not include any specific regulations concerning travel contracts. The aim of the judicial interpretation is therefore to fill this gap in Chinese civil law. Background for the promulgation of the interpretation is a steady annual rise of travels and travel disputes, which are partly attributed to unfair conduct on the side of travel agencies. During the drafting of the interpretation the SPC therefore was very much concerned with the protection of travellers, which is deemed to be the weaker party in the relationship with travel agencies. This protection of travellers becomes especially apparent in the expansion of the control on general terms of business as well as in duties of notification and warning of the travel agencies towards travellers. Besides the interpretation introduces duties to implement safety precautions, which are modelled after the German "Verkehrssicherungspflichten". Also interesting is the stipulation of punitive damages – known from Chinese consumer protection law – against travel agencies for certain conducts. It is expected by the SPC that such claims serve to prevent fraudulent acts against travellers.
This paper is the translation of an earlier article ("Chinesisches Reiserecht: Undogmatischer Schutz für Reisende durch das Oberste Volksgericht") which can be found in the author's profile as well.
Keywords: travel law, contract law, tort law, Supreme People’s Court, People’s Republic of China, judicial interpretation, consumer protection, general terms of business, duties of notification and warning, duties to implement safety precautions
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