Elec­tronic ev­i­dence al­lowed into courts

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YAN zhangyan1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Supreme Peo­ple’s Court will al­low mo­bile phone mes­sages, e-mails, mi­cro-blog­ging and on­line chat records to be used as ev­i­dence in civil law­suits.

“The new mea­sure will be con­ducive to safe­guard­ing lit­i­gants’ legal rights and en­sur­ing jus­tice,” top court spokesman Sun Jun­gong said onWed­nes­day.

Cases in­volv­ing elec­tronic mes­sages have been on the rise in re­cent years and tend to be com­plex.

Courts around the coun­try han­dled more than 4 mil­lion civil cases in 2014, up 15 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to the court.

Most in­volved mar­riage, prop­erty and debt, hous­ing and la­bor dis­putes, as well as in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty dis­putes.

Elec­tronic files and in­for­ma­tion were not pre­vi­ously iden­ti­fied by the courts as ev­i­dence, which greatly slowed the trial process and dam­aged the le­git­i­mate rights of the par­ties, said Li Wei, a lawyer from the Bei­jing Lawyers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Du Wan­hua, a se­nior judge at the top court, said they learned from the suc­cess­ful ex­pe­ri­ences of some West­ern coun­tries and an­a­lyzed the prac­ti­cal needs for han­dling civil cases be­fore they com­pleted the elec­tron­ic­stan­dards.

Au­dio and video ma­te­ri­als al­lowed as ev­i­dence also in­clude sound record­ings, im­age data, elec­tronic signatures and domain names, ac­cord­ing to the court.

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