Online legal platform shines during virus outbreak

(China Daily) Updated : 2020-05-09

A mobile platform offering litigation-related services has played a big role in helping people deal with lawsuits and legal affairs during the COVID-19 outbreak, China's top court said.

The Supreme People's Court opened the mobile platform on WeChat in March last year to provide litigants and lawyers with quicker and easier access to litigation.

On the platform, users can enjoy more than 20 legal services, including case filing, case hearing, evidence exchange and searching for relevant laws.

Statistics released by the top court on Thursday showed that the platform has more than 1.39 million users and has been visited more than 270 million times as of March 31.

"It contributed a lot to meeting the public legal demand during the novel coronavirus pneumonia," said Xu Junfeng, director of the court's information center.

In March, the platform saw about 390,000 new users and received 437,000 case filing applications, up 86.8 percent and 28.7 percent respectively compared with the figure in February.

About 2.08 million people visited the platform in March, up 53.7 percent compared with February, it added.

The outbreak reduced travel and face-to-face activities, "but litigation-related services were not stopped and became more convenient, thanks to the platform," Xu said.

He regarded the platform as a major part of the country's technology-friendly court building, saying it has covered the top court and 32 high people's courts nationwide.

"We'll increase efforts to extend the platform to all courts across the country and improve the operation to supply litigants with more efficient and effective legal services," he added.

Wang Weiwei, a lawyer from Beijing Zhongwen Law Firm, said it can also provide a bridge for judges, litigants and attorneys to communicate.

"We choose online legal services such as those on this platform because we want a quick response from a court, but sometimes the feedback is not timely enough or even ignored by judges," he said, suggesting the platform operator urge judges to respond within a specified time.