July 8, 2005
Wan Exiang: Over half of civil and economic judgments require coercive enforcement
Supreme People's Court senior judge and vice-president Wan Exiang (万鄂湘) (LL.M., Yale, 1987) was reported on July 7th as having stated in a speech that over half of civil and economic judgments in China require coercive enforcement procedures for implementation. He provided three reasons: (1) the multi-level administrative structure for enforcement of judgments makes it hard to resist local protectionism (a polite way of saying that the same political power that wants to prevent the judgment from being enforced is in charge of enforcing it); (2) flaws in (actually, the virtual non-existence of) the system of credit reporting mean that enterprises and individuals that don't pay their debts aren't appropriately sanctioned; and (3) coercive measures and criminal sanctions for a defendant's failure to implement a judgment are weak and inadequate as a deterrent.
This is an interesting statistic and it's too bad it's not more exact. Virtually all the statistics I can recall seeing on enforcement of judgments deal with the percentage of judgments sent for enforcement that are actually enforced, and to what degree. It's much harder to find statistics where the number of cases sent for enforcement is the numerator and the total number of judgments is the denominator.
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