Four cir­cuit courts will be added

Plan ap­proved by re­form group led by Xi will help res­i­dents by sav­ing time and travel costs

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­

China’s cen­tral au­thor­ity re­spon­si­ble for im­ple­ment­ing re­form has ap­proved a plan to es­tab­lish four more cir­cuit courts, aim­ing to share the bur­den of case hear­ings in the na­tional top court and to im­prove ju­di­cial ef­fi­ciency.

The plan, ap­proved on Tues­day dur­ing a meet­ing of the Lead­ing Group for Over­all Re­form, led by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, out­lines plans for new cir­cuit courts in Chongqing mu­nic­i­pal­ity; Xi’an, Shaanxi prov­ince; Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince; and Zhengzhou, He­nan prov­ince.

The coun­try now has two cir­cuit courts— in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, and Shenyang, Liaon­ing prov­ince— that were set up at the end of 2014 and be­gan op­er­at­ing early last year.

The cir­cuit courts of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court will make it con­ve­nient for res­i­dents to file law­suits and will help solve peo­ple’s dis­putes, re­duc­ing pres­sure on the top court.

For ex­am­ple, the First Cir­cuit Court in Shen­zhen is in charge of hear­ing cases in Guang­dong and Hainan prov­inces and the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion. Lit­i­gants in the three re­gions will not have to go to the top court in Bei­jing to deal with law­suits, which will save time and travel costs.

The Sec­ond Cir­cuit Court in­Shenyangis re­spon­si­ble for tack­ling dis­putes in Liaon­ing, Hei­longjiang and Jilin prov­inces.

“The four new cir­cuit courts should play an ef­fec­tive role in han­dling cases in the four re­gions, es­pe­cially solv­ing cross-re­gional ad­min­is­tra­tive, civil and com­mer­cial dis­putes, in a move to im­prove ju­di­cial cred­i­bil­ity and main­tain jus­tice,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued af­ter the meet­ing.

In the past, some ad­min­is­tra­tive cases, which in­volve lit­i­ga­tion be­tween gov­ern­men­tal de­part­ments and res­i­dents, were dis­turbed by ad­min­is­tra­tive in­ter­fer­ence.

The cir­cuit courts can avoid such in­ter­fer­ence, or “gov­ern­men­tal pro­tec­tion”, en­sur­ing that ver­dicts are fair and made in­de­pen­dently, ac­cord­ing to the top court.

Sta­tis­tics re­leased by the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court show that nearly 13 mil­lion cases were re­solved in 2013, up from 8.56 mil­lion in 2006.

How­ever, the num­ber of judges na­tion­wide failed to rise in step with the num­ber of cases. In 2013, there were 196,000 judges, just 6,000 more than in 2006.

Huang Sizhou, a lawyer in Shen­zhen who helped sev­eral lit­i­gants with cases in the First Cir­cuit Court, ap­plauded the estab­lish­ment of the cir­cuit courts, say­ing they save time and are con­ve­nient for res­i­dents. Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

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