Challenges relating to evidence collection within China by foreign parties

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For foreign and domestic parties alike, collection of evidence within China can raise some interesting and specific issues. Such evidence may be foundational for a dispute before a PRC court or arbitral institution, a foreign lawsuit which has Chinese elements, or for a party seeking to identify assets within China.

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In some situations, foreign parties will have access to the evidence on which they seek to rely to support their allegations. In other cases, attempting to gather evidence within China requires a party to navigate what can be a seemingly difficult legislative and administrative tapestry. This is particularly so given discovery is not a process that is directly reflected in the Chinese Civil Procedure Law (CPL) and that under Chinese law, lawyers are not permitted to take depositions in China for use in foreign courts.

Depending on the purpose for which the party requires the evidence, foreign parties may be required to consider:

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Liu Yuwu (Anthony) is a partner and Zhang Jun (James) is an associate at King & Wood Mallesons in Beijing. Louise England is a solicitor at the firm in Melbourne