Top court turns up heat on ver­dict com­pli­ance Goal is to cre­ate ‘cred­i­ble so­ci­ety’, re­port to NPC from ju­di­ciary says

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Supreme Peo­ple’s Court pledged to strictly pun­ish peo­ple who fail to com­ply with ver­dicts and who op­pose the en­force­ment of rul­ings, to pro­tect the rights of law­suit win­ners and strengthen China’s rule of law.

The top court made the prom­ise in a re­port about the work of Chi­nese courts on Wednes­day to the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, the coun­try’s top leg­is­la­ture. The NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee will re­view the courts’ per­for­mance.

The re­port said the top court has taken var­i­ous steps against de­fault­ers in re­cent years, in­clud­ing in­creas­ing crim­i­nal pun­ish­ments for those who are able to com­ply with court-man­dated penal­ties but refuse, as well as peo­ple who il­le­gally hide as­sets and then claim in­abil­ity to pay.

Since the be­gin­ning of this year, for ex­am­ple, 7,281 peo­ple have been crim­i­nally pun­ished for flout­ing court rul­ings, up 90.6 per­cent yearon-year, it added.

“Ev­ery court must fight de­fault­ers with zero tol­er­ance, which is not only to safe­guard the rights of peo­ple who win law­suits but also to build a more fair le­gal en­vi­ron­ment for all of us,” said Zhou Qiang, pres­i­dent of the top court, who ex­plained the re­port on Wednes­day.

He or­dered all judges to abide by 37 ju­di­cial in­ter­pre­ta­tions and guide­lines is­sued by the top court since 2016 to im­prove ver­dict en­force­ment while avoid­ing ju­di­cial mis­takes and dis­or­der.

To get peo­ple to com­ply with ver­dicts against them, the top court es­tab­lished a black­list on­line in late 2013 to dis­close in­for­ma­tion on de­fault­ers. By the end of Septem­ber, de­tails on more than 12 mil­lion vi­o­la­tions of court or­ders have been posted on the black­list, the re­port said.

As the dif­fi­culty of push­ing peo­ple to im­ple­ment rul­ings of­ten sur­faces in pub­lic com­plaints, the top court has co­or­di­nated with other au­thor­i­ties to solve the prob­lem since 2016 by re­strict­ing de­fault­ers’ daily lives. For ex­am­ple, a black­listed de­faulter is pro­hib­ited from buy­ing flight and high-speed rail tick­ets and can­not serve as a com­pany ex­ec­u­tive.

As of Septem­ber, 14.63 mil­lion air­plane trips and 5.22 rail trips have been blocked, the re­port said, adding that 3.22 mil­lion de­fault­ers have com­plied with court or­ders be­cause of the in­con­ve­nience af­ter be­ing placed on the black­list.

To in­crease the ef­fi­ciency of ver­dict en­force­ment, the top court set up an on­line plat­form with banks and fi­nan­cial depart­ments to search the prop­erty own­er­ship records of de­fault­ers. To date, more than 3,900 such in­sti­tu­tions have con­nected to the plat­form, and the courts can search for 16 kinds of as­sets, in­clud­ing de­fault­ers’ sav­ings ac­counts, se­cu­ri­ties hold­ings and real es­tate, it said.

“But the cur­rent search steps need to be sim­pli­fied and up­graded,” Zhou said, sug­gest­ing courts ap­ply ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and cloud com­put­ing to speed things up.

“We wel­come pub­lic su­per­vi­sion, such as from lawyers and lit­i­gants. What we want is to build a cred­i­ble so­ci­ety,” he said.

ZHANG LEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Chi­nese naval of­fi­cers and sol­diers visit the Sin­ga­pore frigate dur­ing an open day at a mil­i­tary port in Zhan­jiang, Guang­dong prov­ince, on Wednes­day. The navies of China and 10 ASEAN coun­tries are par­tic­i­pat­ing in a joint mar­itime ex­er­cise that started on Mon­day and runs through Sun­day.

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