China has launched the world’s first Internet Court in the e-commerce hub of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. With online evidence collection and speedy trials for internet-related disputes, the court is exploring new methods to handle internetrelated cases. China’s Chief Justice Zhou Qiang talked about the institution while delivering a work report on the Supreme People’s Court at the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress in March.
With the rapid development of the internet and mobile internet, many internet-related cases have emerged, involving online copyright infringement, fraud and personal information theft. Most cases are cross-regional. In traditional judicial hearings, concerned parties must appear in court many times and some even have to travel to another city, which can be prohibitively expensive for many. Furthermore, judges of grassroots courts have meager experience in handling new and difficult cases involving modern tech. Therefore, the Internet Court emerged due to demands of the times to adapt to economic and social development and the needs of the people.
Contrasting traditional courts, the Internet Court specializes in handling internet-related cases online. By removing cases from the traditional trial system, the court makes good use of big data to comparatively analyze the criminal cases and summarize characteristics to form a set of structured and standardized judicial procedures and rules, completing the whole process from case filing to judgment. The Internet Court is also professional—its judges are not only proficient in the law, but also in matters related to the internet, economics and finance.
The establishment of an Internet Court to explore litigation rules and trial mechanisms for internet-related cases that ensures judges’ professionalism could enhance the judicial system and promote fairness as well as the healthy development of the internet economy.
August 18, 2017: An internet court in Hangzhou tries a case involving online copyright infringement. IC