Internet tribunal speeds up judicial process

Updated 2018-02-01 14:41:01 China Daily

A member of staff at the Hangzhou Internet Court in Zhejiang province, explains how to file a case via a remote terminal.

Since it began operating last year, China's first online court has been instrumental in accelerating the judicial process.

The Hangzhou Internet Court was established by the Supreme People's Court, China's highest legal body, in Zhejiang province on Aug. 18. By Nov. 4, 127 cases had been filed with the court, and 2,079 had been concluded, according to a report by China Radio International.

Most cases were heard within 51 days of being filed, and each hearing lasted an average of 28 minutes, far quicker than traditional tribunals, the report said.

Under requirements set by the Supreme People's Court, the internet court is responsible for handling six kinds of civil and administrative internet-related cases, such as those involving online intellectual property rights and e-commerce disputes.

"Many litigants have praised our 24-hour legal services. People who bring cases to us can save money because they don't have to travel to the court, and the public can also offer advice and supervise our work via the internet," Sha Li, a judge at the court, said.

Zhang Hao, the court's vice-president, said the legal team is exploring a range of methods of dealing with cases online.

"The court will be a pioneer of technology-friendly judicial authority nationwide," he said. "We are conducting an experiment to combine judicial work with cyberspace. We'll provide more ideas and experiences for the nation's legal sector to work with."

In May, the court began operating on a trial basis, guided by the top court. A month later, its establishment was formally approved at a meeting of the Leading Group for Overall Reform, presided over by President Xi Jinping.

Gao Yandong, an associate professor of law at Zhejiang University, said the court was designed to accord with the rapid development of the internet and ongoing judicial reforms.

"However, it is not just a product of justice and the internet, but will also prompt the development of the two sectors," he said.

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