On Cost-Sharing in Civil Justice

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.2, 2016


On Cost-Sharing in Civil Justice



Wang Fuhua


Judicial costs embody the general principles of distributive justice, and also display cooperation and gaming between the state, litigants and the market. Breaking down the overall costs of civil justice, rather than carrying out partial observation and analysis that confines costs to litigation costs, can legitimize the sharing of trial and litigation costs and clarify the boundaries between public costs and private costs. This first-order rule of cost-sharing is intended to establish a balance between the input of the public resources of state justice and the costs borne by the litigant. The second-order rule of cost sharing centers on the distribution of litigation costs between litigants. It not only requires not only that we set up the goal of fair and just cost-sharing in litigation, but also that we take into overall consideration the adjustment function of the cost mechanism in litigation and pursue the general improvement of the justice system. The third-order cost-sharing rule should concentrate on giving full play to the legal services market and social organizations in litigation cost-sharing. Its success will depend on the development of professional ethics and legal regulation.