I am de­lighted to see courts be­com­ing ‘in­tel­li­gent’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA -

Cai Songlin, 54, is a se­nior ju­di­cial of­fi­cial at the Shushan Dis­trict Peo­ple’s Court in He­fei, cap­i­tal of An­hui prov­ince.

In­ever thought I would be able to use a com­puter to re­ceive case ma­te­ri­als pro­vided by lit­i­gants or con­tact them via our com­puter sys­tem. I have wit­nessed many changes dur­ing more than 30 years in the le­gal pro­fes­sion, and I am de­lighted to see Chi­nese courts be­com­ing more “in­tel­li­gent”.

In 1985, when I be­gan work in the court’s case-sub­mis­sion de­part­ment, I used a bi­cy­cle to visit lit­i­gants and de­liver ju­di­cial doc­u­ments to other au­thor­i­ties. That’s no longer nec­es­sary. A new on­line sys­tem, part of our ef­forts to build an in­tel­li­gent court, has been wel­comed by judges and lit­i­gants be­cause it im­proves ef­fi­ciency and saves time.

In the 1980s, all the cases, which were mainly re­lated to di­vorce, were han­dled by me and one other col­league. Now, there are about 20 judges. That’s be­cause the num­ber of dis­putes has risen so rapidly and they are so varied.

Thirty years ago, a judge who heard about 30 cases a year was the court’s lead­ing of­fi­cial, but last year, the av­er­age num­ber of cases our judges dealt with reached 300.

The soar­ing num­ber of dis­putes has forced us to change our way of sub­mit­ting cases, which re­sulted in our on­line sys­tem be­ing es­tab­lished in 2015.

We have set up a cen­ter in the court where lit­i­gants can reg­is­ter with our sys­tem and sub­mit cases. We pro­vide print­ers and scan­ners so they can ac­cess hard copies of ma­te­ri­als re­lated to cases.

The sys­tem also al­lows lit­i­gants to fol­low their cases once they have been sub­mit­ted. It pro­vides de­tails, such as which judge will hear their case, and they can also use it to re­search ver­dicts handed down in cases sim­i­lar to their own.

Vol­un­teer and le­gal work­ers are avail­able to help and guide se­niors who are un­fa­mil­iar with com­put­ers.

Although my age means I do not have good com­puter skills, I am still pas­sion­ate about learn­ing, and the sys­tem al­lows me to share my ex­pe­ri­ence with younger col­leagues and guide them about which cases can or can­not be ac­cepted, or any extra ma­te­ri­als lit­i­gants should pro­vide.

I re­gard the new sys­tem as a good as­sis­tant be­cause it frees us from te­dious work and stream­lines the sub­mis­sion process.

That leaves us more time to fo­cus on re­solv­ing dis­putes and re­search­ing le­gal is­sues.

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