SPC’s online trial platform allows witnesses to testify remotely

(english.court.gov.cn) Updated : 2020-04-27

With the help of an online trial platform, the Sixth Circuit Court of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) has, for the first time, allowed witnesses to testify remotely in the trial of a construction contract dispute.

Centered on a large affordable housing project in Ningxia Hui autonomous region, the case was appealed to the SPC by all three parties involved, two of which are based in the region.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic and with the unanimous consent of all the parties, the court decided to hear the case through the Mobile Micro Court, the SPC’s online case-hearing platform.

Three days before the trial, however, one of the parties suddenly applied to the court to allow two new witnesses, who were based in Yinchuan, Ningxia’s capital, to testify in the proceeding, leading to an unprecedented situation where witnesses would testify online.

With the cooperation of Yinchuan's intermediate court, the court quickly worked out a plan, allowing the witnesses to participate in the online proceeding at the intermediate court.

Eventually, the three-hour trial, which was held as scheduled, went smoothly with all the parties fully making their arguments and the witnesses putting their testimony into evidence.

The trial marks a new milestone in the SPC's endeavor to develop its online trial practice.