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The Supreme People’s Court has established an impressive framework to facilitate the use of Guiding Cases but has not given clear guidance on how to handle inconsistent applications of a Guiding Case by Chinese courts. In this article, the authors analyze the inconsistent applications of Guiding Case No. 60 by several important courts in China, discuss potential problems associated with such inconsistency, and propose solutions to these problems.
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The Supreme People’s Court’s issuance of 26 new Guiding Cases, China’s de facto binding precedents, during the last few weeks of 2022 brought the total number of these cases issued in the entire year to 33, a record-high number that has only been matched in 2019. A comparison of Guiding Cases released before and after 2019 shows positive developments and, as explained in this article, gives optimism for 2023.
Last Sunday, Dr. Mei Gechlik delivered a keynote speech titled Zhejiang, Case Guidance, and China’s Global Economic Development at a conference held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The speech turned out to be timely as on the same day, a Chinese Communist Party leader visited Alibaba, the e-commerce giant headquartered in Zhejiang. The visit not only marked the first of this type since Alibaba faced serious regulatory investigations, but also occurred only two days after President Xi Jinping chaired the country’s economic working conference, at which China’s “platform enterprises” (e.g., Alibaba) were called upon to “show their talents in leading [the country’s] development, job creation, and international competition”.
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The highest court in a province in China recently ordered a retrial of a dispute because lower-level courts handling the dispute failed to discuss in their reasoning a relevant Guiding Case cited by a party as similar to the dispute. This ruling is expected to bring about positive changes to the judicial practice of using Guiding Cases in that province. Why? Will this ruling be a game changer for the rest of the country?
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How can the development of China’s Case Guidance System promote the country’s judicial protection of intellectual property rights, helping achieve the goals set forth in the Plan for the Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in People’s Courts (2021-2025)?
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Apart from China’s Guiding Cases, legal practitioners, business executives, and other stakeholders must not forget about Typical Cases, another category of representative cases that the Supreme People’s Court of China can release to guide Chinese courts’ adjudication. What are Typical Cases? Why are they significant?
2022 marks the 15th anniversary of the issuance of the Anti-Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China. In late November 2021, China’s solicitation of public comments on its proposed amendment to this law came to an end. Apart from the prospect of seeing a new version of this important national law, what judicial developments related to this law will likely occur in 2022?