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China reports drop in litigation costs

(Xinhua)

13:40, October 09, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- The litigation costs for parties before Chinese courts had been "markedly" reduced after recent judicial reforms, according to an official document.

The Information Office of the State Council on Tuesday published a white paper on China's judicial reform.

The document recalled the promulgation of the 2006 rules on collecting litigation fees and lawyers' service fees and identified them as helpful in mitigating the difficulty of lodging a lawsuit and hiring a lawyer.

China has clarified the payment scope concerning litigation fees and sharply adjusted the threshold, percentage and standard of fees for cases involving property, divorce and labor disputes, resulting in a great reduction in actual charges, said the document.

Moreover, parties with economic difficulties could apply for judicial assistance such as exemption, reduction and deferment of litigation fees, noted the white paper.

It also highlighted the government-guided prices for service fees collected by lawyers when they act as representatives in state compensation cases and other special cases, while expanding the scope of lawyers' charges to market-adjusted prices and rigorously standardizing the links and procedures for lawyers' charges.

"This effectively guarantees litigants' lawful rights and interests, as well as the state's interests while promoting the healthy development of the law profession," said the document.

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