Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2014

Publication Citation

21 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 683 (2014)


China, like most other civil law countries, does not have a discrete evidence code. Rather, Chinese evidence rules are currently scattered among various procedural codes. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, Chinese scholars and practitioners have advocated for specialized evidence legislation. As part of this movement, China issued numerous judicial interpretations of evidence law, amendments to existing procedural law, and experimental drafts of evidence statutes. For example, new amendments to the Civil Procedure Law and to the Criminal Procedure Law became effective on January 1, 2013. More recently, the Supreme People's Court led the efforts to create two experimental drafts of judicial interpretations for evidence rules, namely the "People's Courts Uniform Provisions of Evidence of the People's Courts" in 2008 and the "People's Courts Provisions of Evidence in Litigation" in 2012. Both drafts contemplate the ultimate adoption of a comprehensive evidence statute into the Chinese law. Both drafts contain hallmarks of evidence law, including terminology, methodology, and legal principles, that are regularly seen in the common law system. Yet both drafts retain characteristics of the Chinese legal system and Chinese cultural traditions. The authors analyze the latest developments in China's evidence legislation movement and observe that China's recent experience demonstrates a process of modernization.