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Introduction to Commercial Cases

Preface

The occurrence of major commercial disputes not only affects the rights and interests of company shareholders or creditors, but may also rattle the market and the investing public. If not resolved in a timely manner, it may even affect the overall business environment and weaken the economic competitiveness of our country. Therefore, major commercial cases should be adjudicated by a specialized court, to ensure prompt, appropriate and professional handling of commercial disputes. On May 22, 2017, the National Conference on Judicial Reform decided that Taiwan should establish a commercial court to ensure the rulings in commercial disputes are professional, timely, consistent and predictable. Based on this decision, the Judicial Yuan commissioned civil procedure and commercial law scholars, lawyers, judges, and representatives from administrative agencies in 2018 to form a committee to study and formulate the Commercial Case Adjudication Act. The committee took into account the opinions of all parties and drafted the Commercial Case Adjudication Act accordingly.

The Act consists of 81 Articles, for a total of seven Chapters, including General Provisions; Commercial Mediation Procedures; Commercial Litigation and Provisional Remedies Proceedings; Commercial Non-Litigation Proceedings; Appeal, Interlocutory Appeal and Retrial Procedures; Penal Provisions; and Supplementary Provisions.

I. Scope of Commercial Cases; and Levels of Instances and Trials

Commercial cases include commercial litigation cases and commercial non-litigation cases (Article 2, Judicial Yuan’s Yuan-Tai-Ting-Min-San-Zi Order No. 1110015081 and Order No. 1110015084 dated May 17, 2022)

Scope of commercial litigation cases:

1.     Where the responsible person of a company enters into disputes concerning civil rights and obligations with other companies as a result of business operations, and the price or value of the claim is equal to or more than thirty million New Taiwan Dollars.

2.     Where disputes concerning civil rights and obligations arise under the Securities and Exchange Act and the Futures Trading Act and the price or value of the claim is equal to or more than thirty million New Taiwan Dollars.

3.     Where disputes concerning civil rights and obligations are raised by shareholders of publicly traded companies by exercising shareholder rights against the company or the responsible persons of the company, and the institutions protecting securities investors and futures traders petition to the court to remove the company's directors or supervisors.

4.     Disputes over the effectiveness of a resolution by the shareholders’ meeting or the board meetings of publicly traded companies.

5.     Disputes over the effectiveness of a resolutions of the shareholders' meeting or the board meeting of non-publicly traded companies that have control or subordinate relationships with publicly traded companies.

6.     Where civil litigation arises from matters governed by the Company Act or the Securities and Exchange Act, both parties agree in writing that the case shall be adjudicated by a commercial court, and the price or value of the claim is equal to or more than thirty million New Taiwan Dollars.

7.     Other commercial litigation cases under the jurisdiction of a commercial court pursuant to other laws, or as designated by the Judicial Yuan:

(1)   Litigation raised by an institution established in accordance with the Securities Investor and Futures Trader Protection Act in reference to Article 10-1, Article 10-2 and Article 28 of the Act.

(2)   Objection raised by a debtor before the conclusion of the procedure initiated by the creditor for enforcement under the ruling, settlement or mediation by an intellectual property and commercial tribunal of a commercial court. 

Scope of commercial non-litigation cases:

Adjudication of prices for share purchases by publicly traded companies.

Petitions by publicly traded companies to select a temporary administrator, appoint an inspector, and dismiss the said personnel pursuant to the Company Act.

Other commercial non-litigation cases under the jurisdiction of a commercial court pursuant to legal regulations or as designated by the Judicial Yuan.

Commercial cases fall under the jurisdiction of a commercial court, which refers to the intellectual property court and the commercial Court. A two-instance and two-trial system is adopted for the commercial court. Unless otherwise regulated, the ruling on a commercial appealable or interlocutory appealable to the supreme court. (Article 2 and Article 71)

II. System of Compulsory Representation by Lawyers

The system of compulsory representation by lawyers is adopted to protect the rights of parties involved or related parties and to facilitate the proceedings. A lawyer shall serve as agent ad litem, directly effective to the parties concerned. (Article 6, Article 7, Article 9, Article 11 and Article 12)

III. Adoption of e-Filing Transmission System

When submitting a pleading to the court, the parties concerned, related parties, or agents ad litem should submit documents via the e-filing transmission system. Submissions not via the e-filing transmission system shall be invalid. The purpose of adopting e-Filing Transmission System is to accelerate the delivery of documents, enhance the review efficiency and reduce labor and costs. (Article 14 and Article 15)

IV. Establishment of Commercial Investigators

The commercial court has commercial investigators to assist judges in handling of commercial cases, analysis and organizing disputed points and legal issues, providing reference material or producing reports in professional domains to support explanations, assisting in raising questions and evidence investigation. Equipped with the special and professional knowledge provided by commercial investigators, the court shall grant the parties concerned or related parties the opportunity to debate or state opinions, as the basis of judgment. (Article 17)

V. Relaxation of applicability of remote case hearings

To facilitate the participation of the parties concerned, related parties, legal representatives, agents ad litem and expert witnesses, etc. from remote courts in the proceedings, the court may, on a petition or ex officio, hear the case using technology equipment for voices and images when the court deems this to be appropriate. (Article 18)

VI. Compulsory Commercial Mediation Procedures First

Compulsory mediation is conducted first. Experts are selected as commercial mediation committee members to assist in mediation. Mediation procedures shall be concluded within sixty days after the appointment of committee members. (Article 20, Article 23 and Article 28)

The parties concerned, legal representatives and agents ad litem shall attend in person on mediation dates to facilitate the mediation. The court may issue a fine of less than three hundred thousand New Taiwan dollars to those absent without justifiable reasons. Once the commercial mediation is completed, petitioners may apply for a 75% refund of the petition fees. (Article 26, Article 27 and Article 32)

VII. Planned Trials; Discussion and Formulation of Trial Plans 

The court shall plan the trial procedures in advance and conduct planned trials. It is necessary to discuss and formulate the trial plan with both parties to enhance the trial efficiency. (Article 38, Article 39 and Article 40)

VIII. Inquiry System for Parties Concerned

To allow the parties concerned the opportunity to collect relevant information before litigation proceedings, the parties concerned may inquire the opposing parties to list and explain necessary matters such as relevant facts or evidence during the period designated by the court or before the conclusion of preparatory procedures. The opposing parties are obliged to provide explanations. Declining to provide explanations without justifiable reasons will be subject to unfavorable outcomes. (Article 43 and Article 45)

IX. Expert Witness System

An expert witness system is adopted. Expert witnesses provide professional opinions to enhance trials by supporting facts. (Article 47)

Expert witnesses issue professional opinions in writing and with the permission of the court, such opinions may be presented orally. If deemed necessary, the court may require expert witnesses from both parties to discuss the point of dispute or other necessary matters and jointly issue professional opinions in writing. With the permission from the presiding judge, it is possible to question other expert witnesses or examiners during the session designated for examination. (Article 49, Article 51 and Article 52)

False statements by an expert witness on matters important to a case shall constitute perjury on the part of the expert witness. (Article 78)

X. Confidentiality Preservation Orders

The court may, in response to a petition, issue a confidentiality preservation order to the parties involved or to third parties regarding the trade secrets they hold. Those parties issued with a confidentiality preservation order may not use or divulge the trade secrets for purposes other than litigation. Otherwise, it will constitute a breach of the confidentiality preservation order. (Article 55 and Article 76)

 

Commercial Case Adjudication Act

Enforcement Rules of the Commercial Case Adjudication Act

 

  • Release Date : 2023-11-28
  • Update : 2023-11-28
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