Time saver

ChinAfrica - - Cover Story -

The In­ter­net court is an in­no­va­tive move China’s ju­di­cial sys­tem adopted to em­brace the rapid pen­e­tra­tion of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy into peo­ple’s daily lives, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

“In the In­ter­net era, dis­put­ing par­ties may come from dif­fer­ent cities with re­spec­tive ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties,” noted Yu Zhi­gang, a law pro­fes­sor with China Univer­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Science and Law. There­fore, nearly all of such law­suits had to first spec­ify a re­spon­si­ble court, which was time and en­ergy-con­sum­ing for plain­tiffs, de­fen­dants and judges. Be­sides, judges might find it dif­fi­cult to judge an In­ter­net-re­lated case ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tional law­suit reg­u­la­tions.

Yu said a court es­tab­lished for In­ter­net-re­lated cases will en­able judges to fo­cus on how to im­prove tri­als and hear­ings in­stead of be­ing caught up in te­dious red tape.

“Ac­cused In­ter­net com­pa­nies can also save con­sid­er­able ex­pense on trav­el­ing for sum­monses of courts in dif­fer­ent cities,” added Yu.

For ex­am­ple, on­line con­sumers in Bei­jing don’t have to make the trip all the way to Hangzhou to sue Taobao, China’s largest on­line mar­ket­place. It was also un­nec­es­sary for the Hangzhou-based com­pany to send staff to court in Bei­jing when law­suits were filed there.

The on­line court also al­lowed judges to make more in­formed de­ci­sions with the help of big data. “Con­nected with the on­line sys­tem, they can ref­er­ence sim­i­lar cases and check on fi­nan­cial records, trans­ac­tions and credit records of the in­volved par­ties when nec­es­sary,” said Du.

The lo­ca­tion of the first In­ter­net court was also care­fully cho­sen. Hangzhou is home to e-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba Group that of­fers a widely-used mo­bile pay­ment sys­tem and the largest on­line mar­ket­place.

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