Enforcement of rulings gets priority
Chinese judges say they are giving high priority to the enforcement of monetary judgments and are ordering stiff punishments for people who fail to comply.
It's part of a redoubled effort to uphold justice and improve the rule of law, they say.
"We've increased the efficiency and accuracy of tracking down defaulters and their properties by cooperating with public security bureaus, banks and real estate registration entities," Beijing judge Chen Changyi said.
He made the remark during a news conference in Beijing dealing with how judges serve the people, which was presented by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday.
"We've also strengthened penalties for people who are able to obey our rulings, such as someone who has the money to pay back a debt but refuses to do so," he added.
Chen, from the capital's Haidian District People's Court, said his court has punished 286 defaulters since the start of 2017. The amount of money they refused to pay reached 2 billion yuan ($331 million).
"We also used WeChat to collect clues about defaulters and their properties last year," he said.
Jiang Ying, a Beijing Intellectual Property Court judge, said the greatest difficulty in implementing IP-related verdicts is stopping defendants from harming plaintiffs' IP rights.
"We can't monitor defendants every day to see whether they were still damaging others' trademarks, copyrights or patents," she said.
To solve the problem, a person whose IP rights have been damaged is allowed to file another lawsuit asking a court to increase the level of punishment, she said.
In one trademark dispute, for example, Jiang's court tripled the amount of damages it had ordered a man to pay - to 600,000 yuan from the original 200,000 yuan - after repeated infringements.
"Such moves can threaten the infringer and speed up enforcement, as well as better protect IP rights," she added.
Judges in Guangdong province have also made greater efforts to push people to comply with verdicts, especially when carrying out rulings in domestic cases or those involving juveniles, such as urging divorced defendants to pay child support, according to Chen Haiyi, a judge of the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court.
Since 2015, the Supreme People's Court has vowed to fight defaulters and take steps against them, as the problem often surfaces in public complaints.
Now, people who fail to carry out verdicts will be prohibited from buying airline and high-speed rail tickets and face restrictions in purchasing luxury goods.
As of March 29, 10.15 million airplane trips and 3.91 million rail trips have been blocked, the court said.