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Courts of original verdicts to hear retrials

By ZHAO YINAN  (China Daily)

08:48, September 03, 2012

Cases involving more than one plaintiff or defendant will be retried in the same court that handed down the original verdict, an amendment to the Civil Procedure Law passed on Friday has ruled, prompting concerns there will be less opportunities to overturn disputed verdicts.

Lawmakers said the change will mainly affect cases on environmental and food safety issues.

The change, which will be put into effect in January, differs from current rules that require all retrials to be heard in a higher court, a practice started in 2007 to encourage courts to correct wrong verdicts.

The growing number of retrials has led to an increased workload at provincial-level courts and the country’s top court, the Supreme People’s Court.

Wang Shengming, a lawmaker from the National People’s Congress, said the change is aimed at improving judicial efficiency.

Li Shishi, deputy director of the NPC Law Committee, said on Monday that environmental pollution and unsafe food cases usually involve a large number of parties.

Courts of original jurisdiction are in a better position to conduct a thorough investigation, he said.

"It is also in line with the principle of resolving the conflict at the local level," he said.

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