Courts handling new types of lawsuits
Court cases involving major construction projects, home demolitions, land expropriations and urban-rural environmental protection made up the largest proportion of lawsuits filed against district governments in Beijing last year, official data said.
A report issued by the Beijing No 4 Intermediate People's Court on Thursday showed such cases represented more than 70 percent of 1,557 disputes it heard and concluded in 2018.
"Big construction projects" covers various sectors, such as high-speed railway buildings and the city's metro system buildings, according to the report.
"We also faced a few new-type administrative cases, which brought us challenges to our hearings," Cheng Hu, the court's spokesman and vice president said at a press conference on Thursday. "For example, some cases regarded the protection and use of heritage museums, while some related to the building of financial and commercial zones."
There are no clear rules on how to handle such administrative cases, "and given that some disputes involved so many people, balancing the interest of each side was also a difficulty for us," said Chen Lianggang, chief judge of the court's Administrative Division.
According to the report, governmental departments were sued to the court and failed in 26 percent of lawsuits for disobeying procedures when dealing with administrative affairs.
But the court said more authorities have attached importance to regulating their behavior in handling governmental affairs. For example, the number of governments that arranged leading officials to attend case hearings has risen, Chen said.
"In the past, few officials appeared in lawsuits, which was complained about by the public," he added. "Now, more officials show they are willing to talk to residents to solve conflicts efficiently."