Mediation on the spot
Court officers and judges hold a hearing in Hexi No 1 village on March 2. ZHAO DONGSHAN/FOR CHINA DAILY
County's 'mobile' court takes a proactive way to settling disputes
The people's court in Yiyuan, a mountainous county in Shandong province, has long practiced a policy of "working on the front line" by sending court officials and officers regularly to villages deep in the mountains to visit households and mediate disputes, and teach people about the law.
It has also been exploring grassroots forms of what China refers to as "whole-process" democracy, setting up mediation rooms and organizing a network of 100 mediators, and its judges take the initiative to visit households to resolve conflicts in their early stages.
As a result, Yiyuan's residents now think of their people's court as a "mobile" court, and last year, it helped resolve 2,180 disputes before litigation.
Over 70 percent of the people living in Yiyuan make a living from growing fruit, and disputes frequently arise over trading. In order to protect the economic interests of fruit farmers and promote the development of the county's fruit industry, court officials have gone into the field to teach about legal matters, and to promote mobile court hearings and mediation. They have organized around 300 hearings in the past few years.