This year, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has not released its judicial interpretation agenda to the general public, so observers concerned about what the SPC is doing in specific areas of law must be attentive to what SPC leaders mention in either speeches in major conferences or articles in the media. Justice Liu Guixiang, a member of the judicial committee with deputy ministerial status, spoke in early September at the 4th Annual Conference on Serving Small and Medium Sized Investors . His speech was one of many leader’s speeches (visible in the link领导人讲话) delivered at this conference sponsored by the China Association for Public Companies, Securities Association of China and other securities industry associations. (For the careful listener (or reader) his speech provides insights on what can be expected from the SPC in the near future in the area of financial law. It is linked to China’s development of its securities market and dealing with the increasing number of financial fraud cases and civil disputes. Some of what he told the audience illustrate, in the area of financial and securities law, how the SPC operates in the New Era. Those include:
- the SPC plans to issue a new conference summary on financial trials （金融审判座谈会纪要) before the end of the year, to unify trial standards. This is linked to government policies on the prevention and resolution of financial risks;
- the SPC plans to amend the 2003 interpretation
Some Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Trying Cases of Civil Compensation Arising from False Statement in Securities Market, as it is outdated, particularly the requirement of an administrative penalty before investors can file suit. The interpretation is inconsistent with the amended Securities Law;
- the SPC will guide the lower courts on the hearing of securities group cases (证券集体诉讼制度), particularly focusing on financial fraud, providing better relief to investors, and assisting to stabilize the market in its transition to a registration based listing system. He stressed that the SPC would require lower courts to apply the principle of harmonizing standards for fault and administrative penalties in financial fraud cases, distinguishing different types of fault, and “striking hard” in cases of intentional financial fraud (要求人民法院在处理财务造假等案件中，基于“过错与处罚相一致”原则，区分过错类型，依法严厉打击故意造假行为过错与处罚相一致);
- The SPC will provide guidance to the local courts on strictly applying new rules (in the Civil Code and the SPC’s judicial interpretation) on guarantees provided by listed companies and will also provide further guidance on the bankruptcy (and reorganization ) of listed companies.
- The SPC will cooperate further with relevant government organs and other institutions to further develop non-litigation solutions to securities disputes. One example Justice Liu likely had in mind was the recently promulgated notice jointly issued by the General Office of the SPC and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on establishing an online system for linking the CSRC’s electronic platform with the SPC’s mediation electronic platform, to enable mediated settlements within the securities and future mediation systems to become enforceable through judicial confirmation online (在线申请司法确认或出具调解书等诉调对接工作) This August 2021 document is entitled Notice on Establishing a Linkage Between Mediation and Litigation “General to General” Online Securities and Futures Disputes Mechanism 最高人民法院办公厅 中国证券监督管理委员会办公厅关于建立“总对总”证券期货纠纷在线诉调对接机制的通知. That document, which implements the Party Center’s concept — social governance pattern of co-construction, co-governance and sharing (建立共建共治共享社会治理格局)includes a joint meeting system between the two institutions and affiliated organizations, with the CSRC’s Investor Protection Bureau and the China Securities Small and Medium Investor Service Center Co., Ltd. taking an important part. The linkage between mediation and litigation is part of diversified dispute resolution. It calls for analogous linkage at the local level between offices of the CSRC and the courts. The SPC has issued other documents previously, particularly the Supreme People’s Court and the China Securities Regulatory Commission of Issuing Opinions on Comprehensively Advancing Establishment of Diversified Resolution Mechanism of Securities and Futures Disputes. The SPC’s 2021 bilingual report on its diversified dispute resolution reforms (2015-2020) provides more details on this and other reforms.
- Finally, Justice Liu called for promoting the securities representative litigation mechanism (mentioned in Article 95 of the Securities Law and further developed in a 2020 judicial interpretation, Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning Representative Actions Arising from Securities Disputes). The Shanghai Financial Court has taken the lead in these cases. What Justice Liu means is using the results in representative litigation to resolve outside of the courts other similar securities & futures disputes, particularly group disputes. This is an example of implementing the SPC’s diversified dispute resolution policies. This mechanism is can also be characterized as linking to the Party Center’s current policy of mediating first and resolving disputes at their source to reduce the quantity of litigation (党中央关于“将非诉讼纠纷解决机制挺在前面，从源头上减少诉讼增量), as discussed in greater detail in the bilingual report.
Those with more specialized knowledge in Chinese securities law should provide corrections or comments by using the blog’s comment function.
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