COVID-19 in Civil or Commercial Disputes : First Responses from Chinese Courts

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-501
Journal / PublicationThe Chinese Journal of Comparative Law
Issue number2
Online published30 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


This comment highlights major civil or commercial (mostly contract) law provisions in 24 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 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 disputes arising in connection with the COVID-19.