LAW

A judge ex­plains her un­der­stand­ing of jus­tice with her ac­tions By Yuan Yuan

Beijing Review - - 19th Cpc National Congress -

At a re­cent ex­hi­bi­tion held by Bei­jing Higher Peo­ple’s Court on civil cases that made pi­o­neer­ing steps dur­ing tri­als, a di­vorce case in 2013 that saw the is­suance of the first tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der in Bei­jing was on dis­play.

Liu Li, the judge of the case who granted the or­der against a hus­band charged with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, is now the head of the Aoyun­cun Tri­bunal, af­fil­i­ated to Chaoyang Dis­trict Peo­ple’s Court in Bei­jing.

Or­der of pro­tec­tion

While han­dling the high-pro­file case, the pres­sure was huge, Liu re­called. Kim Lee, the plain­tiff, posted on her mi­croblog pic­tures taken in 2011 of her bruised face and said she was beaten by her hus­band Li Yang, founder of Crazy English, a well­known lan­guage train­ing school.

Lee, from the United States, then sued Li for abus­ing her with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and re­quested a di­vorce.

The in­volve­ment of a for­eign lit­i­gant and a fa­mous fig­ure as well as the is­sue of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence soon made me­dia head­lines, putting a lot of pres­sure on Liu.

Liu spent much time col­lect­ing ev­i­dence and re­search­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. “We didn’t have a law specif­i­cally on do­mes­tic vi­o­lence at that time, which made the case more dif­fi­cult,” Liu told Bei­jing Re­view. “We also needed to keep a cool head and not be af­fected by me­dia re­ports.”

Af­ter four court hear­ings, Liu ruled that Lee was the vic­tim of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and granted her a re­strain­ing or­der against Li.

“Be­fore that, Bei­jing never is­sued a re­strain­ing or­der,” Liu said. “We were un­der pres­sure for the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of the grant.”

This or­der is re­garded as a mile­stone in cases of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and it also sped up the in­tro­duc­tion of re­lated leg­is­la­tion. In March 2016, China’s first anti-do­mes­tic vi­o­lence law came into ef­fect. Liu con­trib­uted many sug­ges­tions in the process of the law’s for­mu­la­tion.

The com­pli­ca­tion

Hav­ing grad­u­ated from law school in 2002, Liu joined Chaoyang Dis­trict Peo­ple’s Court. Now she has dealt with more than 3,000 cases in­volv­ing more than 8,000 lit­i­gants.

“Bei­jing is a megac­ity with a pop­u­la­tion of more than 20 mil­lion. Chaoyang, as the most pop­u­lous dis­trict in the city, al­ways faces com­pli­cated dis­putes,” Liu said. “Be­sides, it is where many for­eign­ers stay, which makes the sit­u­a­tion more com­plex.”

In 2008, be­fore Bei­jing hosted the Sum­mer Olympic Games, the Aoyun­cun Tri­bunal was as­signed to deal with all civil dis­putes in­volv­ing for­eign lit­i­gants in the

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