The PRC Civil Procedure Law has been amended with effect from 1 April 2008 and the relevant standards of case acceptance in various levels of the people’s courts throughout the PRC have been adjusted accordingly.

The amended Civil Procedure Law sets out the jurisdiction of courts in hearing retrial cases and the previous provision allowing a plaintiff to apply for cases to be retried in the original people’s court has been removed. The plaintiff is now only allowed to file an application for a retrial before courts of a higher level. As a result it is expected that there will be a drastic increase in the number of retrial cases in courts at higher levels, putting additional workload on all intermediate and higher people’s courts. During the transitional period it is likely that the courts at higher levels will not only hear final cases and retrial cases, but also new cases transmitted by lower courts.

The amendments to the Civil Procedure Law also set out new requirements for case acceptance, supervisory functions and work mechanisms at the different levels of the people’s courts.