Cross-Straits court ties can be im­proved, of­fi­cials say

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­

The ju­di­cial ef­fi­ciency of cross-Straits courts should be fur­ther im­proved un­der le­gal co­op­er­a­tion of the main­land and Tai­wan, of­fi­cials of the Supreme People’s Court said on Thurs­day.

The cross-Straits courts signed the agree­ment on mu­tual ju­di­cial as­sis­tance in 2009, aim­ing to im­prove in­ves­ti­ga­tions, de­liv­ery of le­gal documents, ap­proval of ver­dicts and trans­fer of com­pen­sa­tion, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the top court.

By May, 37,423 cases had been han­dled un­der the agree­ment, and the num­ber is ris­ing rapidly, said Sun Jun­gong, the top court’s spokesman.

In 2009, Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court of Zhe­jiang prov­ince con­cluded a tele­com fraud case in­volv­ing 17 Tai­wan de­fen­dants. The court took con­trol of il­licit money and trans­ferred more than 2.3 mil­lion yuan ($369,000) to Tai­wan vic­tims.

Sun said that courts of the main­land have de­liv­ered ju­di­cial documents for about 6,000 le­gal cases to Tai­wan each year since 2009. Tai­wan had de­manded more ju­di­cial as­sis­tance that courts from the main­land have de­liv­ered ju­di­cial documents to Tai­wan for each year

since 2009 from the main­land over the past five years.

The main­land filed 2,976 ap­pli­ca­tions last year re­quest­ing that Tai­wan courts send le­gal documents, while the fig­ure in 2010 was 85, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics of the top court.

In 175 cases last year, the main­land asked Tai­wan courts to in­ves­ti­gate for ev­i­dence. Five years ago, there were eight such re­quests, the sta­tis­tics show.

Sun said it is self-ev­i­dent that mu­tual ju­di­cial as­sis­tance is nec­es­sary for both the main­land and Tai­wan, adding that such co­op­er­a­tion can ac­cel­er­ate the process of han­dling cases.

He Zhonglin, di­rec­tor of the top court’s of­fice spe­cial­iz­ing in Tai­wan cases, said more ju­di­cial ma­te­ri­als have been suc­cess­fully sent to lit­i­gants since the agree­ment took ef­fect.

Pre­vi­ously, less than 10 per­cent of cases in­volv­ing de­liv­ery of le­gal documents saw suc­cess­ful de­liv­er­ies of the documents, “as ad­dresses given by Tai­wan lit­i­gants some­times were un­clear or even wrong”, he said.

Last year, how­ever, 67 per­cent of ju­di­cial documents were suc­cess­fully de­liv­ered to Tai­wan, He said.

How­ever, the of­fi­cials said that de­liv­ery pro­ce­dures can be fur­ther stream­lined, even if there are some dif­fer­ences be­tween the le­gal sys­tems of the main­land and Tai­wan.

Now, a Tai­wan court must turn in its ap­pli­ca­tion for de­liv­ery of ju­di­cial ma­te­ri­als to the area’s law af­fairs author­ity first, and then the main­land will send it to the prov­ince and the grass­roots courts in­volved, said He.“

The cur­rent pro­ce­dures have re­duced ef­fi­ciency of courts han­dling more Tai­wan­re­lated cases, such as in Xi­a­men and Jin­men,” he added.

Yan Rongxia, judge of the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in Fu­jian, said her author­ity has sent at least three of­fi­cers to han­dle de­liv­ery cases re­lated to Tai­wan, al­though only one is re­quired un­der the cur­rent agree­ment.

He said, “In ad­di­tion, Tai­wan al­lows send­ing ju­di­cial documents with e-mail and ques­tion­ing lit­i­gants via longdis­tance video call, which are not yet ac­cepted in the main­land.”

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