COVID-19 in Civil or Commercial Disputes: First Responses from Chinese Courts
(2020) 8(2) Chinese Journal of Comparative Law (2020 Forthcoming)
24 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2020
Date Written: March 1, 2020
This comment highlights major civil or commercial (mostly contract) law provisions in 23 judicial documents newly released by the Supreme People’s Court or High People’s Courts in China in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19, and assesses the significance of key changes that they make to the pre-pandemic law. It concludes by noting the increased role of the doctrine of the change of circumstances and the ‘contract purpose’ test, the emphasis placed on consensual solutions (by way of mediation and contract re-negotiation), and the flexibility and relatively clearer guidance afforded to lower courts in their adjudication of contract disputes arising in connection with the COVID-19.
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