Judicial reform improves case filing, overall court experience

(chinadaily.com.cn)     Updated : 2022-08-01

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Statistics provided by the top court showed that Chinese courts have accepted some 138 million cases over the past seven years. [Photo/VCG]

The issue of how difficult it is to file a case, which has been a large and long-term complaint among public, has been resolved after a judicial reform was successfully conducted nationwide, an official from China's top court said.

Unlike the previous practice of examining or reviewing cases before they are filed, the reform, which was launched in May 2015, stipulates that all courts should accept cases immediately if litigants register the lawsuits and provide sufficient materials.

Under the reform, many cases that were delayed or even ignored by courts, such as those against government departments, have been filed. Also, the issue where some courts refused to accept new cases at the end of a year because of pressure to solve existing lawsuits has also been alleviated, Qian Xiaochen, chief judge of the Case Filing Tribunal with the Supreme People's Court, told a news conference on Friday.

"While ensuring every case can be filed without delay, the reform is also helpful to protect people's litigation right," he said, adding that lawsuits have been soaring after the filing procedure was eased.

Statistics provided by the top court showed that Chinese courts have accepted some 138 million cases over the past seven years, of which, 93 million were civil disputes and 1.87 million were against government agencies. More than 95 percent of those cases were filed immediately after registration.

To prevent the refusal of case filing, the top court has strengthened supervision by offering a report hotline for litigants and opening an online early-warning system for courts, Qian said.

Thanks to the measures, the number of cases filed at the end of last year increased 104 percent compared with that of December 2020, according to the statistics.

To reduce litigants' burden of filing a case, Chinese courts have also been required to establish an online platform to provide litigation-related services, Qian said.

So far, more than 19.6 million cases were filed online, with an annual increase of 63 percent on average, the statistics said, adding that the service can also be obtained through mobile phone.

Additionally, a few courts in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing have set up "night courtrooms" for litigants busy with work during the day to ensure their disputes can be resolved efficiently, Qian said.

"We'll build an evaluation system of case filing to inspect what disputes are not filed in a timely manner," he added.