I am delighted to see courts becoming ‘intelligent’
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.