Cao Yin

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA -

mit­ted. In other words, ini­ti­at­ing a law­suit has be­come much eas­ier.

The process of tak­ing a neigh­bor to court, or ap­peal­ing de­ci­sions made by gov­ern­ment departments — which pre­vi­ously at­tracted large num­bers of com­plaints — has also changed a lot. Un­der the re­forms, gov­ern­ment departments are not al­lowed to in­ter­fere in case hear­ings, while re­lated of­fi­cials must at­tend tri­als to re­solve prob­lems.

More­over, courts have been es­tab­lished to han­dle ad­min­is­tra­tive dis­putes ci­ty­wide. For in­stance, Bei­jing No 4 In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court can hear cases brought against gov­ern­ment bod­ies from any dis­trict across the cap­i­tal, a move de­signed to pre­vent in­ter­fer­ence by of­fi­cials from the dis­tricts un­der scru­tiny.

As the new courts and pro­ce­dures have been rolled out, the na­tion’s judges have wit­nessed the changes and have be­come part of the re­form process.

To im­prove the qual­ity and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of hear­ings, the num­ber of judges has been re­duced, and the ju­di­ciary is now clas­si­fied into three dis­tinct branches.

The num­ber of judges who have the right to hand down ver­dicts has been re­duced, while a num­ber of for­mer judges have be­come ju­di­cial as­sis­tants re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing case ma­te­ri­als and ev­i­dence to the judges, or have been re­clas­si­fied as court clerks.

There were two rounds of se­lec­tion, and even­tu­ally 120,000 of the na­tion’s 210,000 ju­di­cial of­fi­cers were named as judges.

So what do China’s judges think about the re­form, and what have they ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing the past five years?

China’s Daily’s Cao Yin spoke with five mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary to dis­cover what they think of the re­form.

Con­tact the writer at caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

MAO SIQIAN ./ XIN­HUA

Judges at the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court’s First Cir­cuit Court in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, hear its first case, in 2015.

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