You can live your dream
What makes an outstanding judge? Different people may have different standards. People who knew Zou Bihua, former vice president of the Shanghai High People’s Court, drew the following portrait of him after he died from a heart attack on Dec 10, 2014.
During his four years as president of the Shanghai Changning District People’s Court, the petition and complaint rate decreased more than 30 percent for four successive years. A complaint monitoring system developed under the guidance of Zou enabled petitions to be networked. He sent the letters to vice presidents in charge and then the arranging department, preventing them from sinking into oblivion. “What he did is not simply innovation, I think it is a kind of revolution,” said Zeng Junyi, director of the court’s office.
As for weak management of judgment execution, Zou changed the mode of “one person in charge of one case” into four steps: reception, investigation, judgment, and enforcement. The change meant Changning court ranks highly on implementation performance among Shanghai courts.
Zou was praised by the Shanghai municipal Party committee in 2008 for his “advanced execution” proposal while seeking administration of 3.8 billion yuan ($596.2 million) of Shanghai social insurance funds. In the same year, when he was inaugurated as president of the Changning court, he went to visit all departments on the second day after his arrival. He Yong, who had worked in the mail room of the court for 16 years, was startled to see the new president in the mail room.
He was asked to count up the mail room’s annual volume of work in Dec, 2009. One month later, at the New Year conference, Zou expressed his gratitude for the contribution of all the frontline staff, “such as He Yong,” who, Zou said, “has distributed 70,000 copies of newspapers and 4,422 magazines, as well as receiving and sending 35,600 letters. Let’s applaud him.” He couldn’t help weeping when he made a deep bow. He also received a promotion notice on his 57th birthday in Jan, 2010. Like He, many other senior staff also got their problems solved at the court.
Even after his graduation from the Law School of Peking University in 1988, Zou never stopped studying. He got his doctorate degree in International Economics at Peking University in 1999, and worked as a researcher at the Federal Judicial Center of the United States, simultaneously attending Yale University as visiting scholar. In addition to more than 20 articles published in core periodicals, Zou also wrote over 10 monographs and books, among which The Nine-step Methodology on Elements Trail became a bestseller for two years in the field.
Zou Bihua was selected as one of the 10 Shanghai Outstanding Persons in 2006 and was hired as a doctoral supervisor at East China University of Political Science and Law in 2011.
On Dec 13, 2014, Peking University Law School announced that the “Zou Bihua Scholarship” would be established in memory of his contributions to judicial work.