Supreme Peo­ple’s Court pushes ju­di­cial open­ness

China Daily (USA) - - WUZHEN - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Aim­ing to in­crease ju­di­cial trans­parency, an of­fi­cial of China’s top court said thatChi­nese courts have been asked to im­prove the qual­ity of data they dis­close. The great achieve­ments in ju­di­cial open­ness of the past three years will con­tinue.

At the Novem­ber 10 pub­lic un­veil­ing of the top court’s in­ter­nal work data­base, Xu Jian­feng, di­rec­tor of in­for­ma­tion cen­ter at theSupre­mePeo­ple’s Court said: “To en­sure the qual­ity of dis­closed in­for­ma­tion and pro­vide bet­ter le­gal ser­vices for res­i­dents will be main tasks for courts at all lev­els.”

The data­base, set up in 2013, has col­lected in­for­ma­tion about more than 90 mil­lion cases from 3,519 courts na­tion­wide as of the end of Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment of the top court.

“Dif­fer­ent kinds of data in courts across the coun­try can be in­te­grated in the data­base, in­clud­ing how many cases a court files and con­cludes. It is an in­ter­nal work pro­gram for courts, but it can also con­nect to an­other four ex­ter­nal on­line plat­forms es­tab­lished by the top court,” he said.

In 2013, the high­est ju­di­cial cham­ber or­dered all courts to set up three on­line plat­forms to dis­close their ver­dicts, the process for fil­ing cases and whether a judg­ment has been im­ple­mented. The aim is to make the courts’ work more trans­par­ent and help make law­suits more con­ve­nient for lit­i­gants.

In Septem­ber this year, the top court es­tab­lished its fourth on­line plat­form to broad­cast tri­als.

“The new data­base can be called our in­for­ma­tion hub. It will dis­close to the pub­lic the tri­als that should be open in ac­cor­dance with the law,” he said. He added that they can make sure that the in­for­ma­tion courts dis­close is ac­cu­rate and also avoids un­nec­es­sary pri­vacy leaks, such as re­leas­ing ver­dicts in­volv­ing chil­dren or the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of lit­i­gants in mar­riage dis­putes.

He does not deny that some courts now se­lec­tively dis­close ju­di­cial in­for­ma­tion, say­ing that the prob­lem will be al­le­vi­ated af­ter the in­ter­nal data­base is im­proved.

“We’ll make a com­par­i­son be­tween data that we dis­close based on the work data­base and those in pub­lic, and I be­lieve it will be easy to find out which court has se­lec­tively opened their ju­di­cial in­for­ma­tion,” he added.

He promised that the top court will urge ev­ery court to dis­close in­for­ma­tion in a timely man­ner. The top court will also help them im­prove their net­work tech­nol­ogy “be­cause some­times un­de­vel­oped fa­cil­i­ties in a few­courts in ru­ral ar­eas also de­lay dis­clo­sure and cause in­ac­cu­racy in the data.”

“Now, we’re pre­par­ing to add some anal­y­sis of laws when we dis­close tri­als and judg­ments. Af­ter all, what we want is not only to wel­come pub­lic su­per­vi­sion, but also to en­hance peo­ple’s ju­di­cial aware­ness,” he added.

Zhou Qiang, pres­i­dent of the top court, said sev­eral times in con­fer­ences of the na­tion’s courts that le­gal open­ness is cru­cial to en­sure jus­tice. He asked that all courts ac­cel­er­ate their ef­forts to take ad­van­tage of big data and the in­ter­net to stream­line ap­peals pro­ce­dures for lit­i­gants.

“The new­work data­base is a key step to build in­tel­li­gent courts in China and is an in­no­va­tion in the le­gal sys­tem,” Zhou said.

In a re­port sub­mit­ted to the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, China’s top leg­is­la­ture, in early Novem­ber, Zhou said that 44.87 mil­lion pieces of in­for­ma­tion about ver­dict en­force­ments have been opened to the pub­lic and 432,000 cases have been broad­casted on­line, as of Oc­to­ber 16. In ad­di­tion, more than 3,200 courts have opened their mi­cro-blog­ging and Wechat ac­counts, the re­port added.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

An em­ployee from Yingmi Tech­nol­ogy demon­strates a pair of magic gloves that can help trans­late for those with hear­ing and speech im­pair­ments.

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