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Legal interpretation outlines work, responsibilities of online courts

A judicial interpretation on online litigation was issued by China’s top court on Thursday to further regulate legal procedures in cyberspace. Entitled Rules of Online Litigation, the 39-article interpretation will come into effect on Aug 1, and is based on the successful operations of the country’s three internet courts, as well as the experience of online trials in select courts during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Supreme People’s Court.

The interpretation requires courts nationwide to bolster technical support for online litigation, improving its judicial efficiency and upholding justice, but highlights the principle that no court can force litigants to choose online litigation, and that everyone has the right to decide whether to solve their disputes online or offline.

Between Jan 1, 2020 and May 31, more than 12.19 million cases were filed online, accounting for 28.3 percent of the total number of cases filed, according to statistics from the Supreme People’s Court.
In August 2017, China’s first internet court opened in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Later, similar courts were built in Beijing and Guangzhou in Guangdong province. Litigants can finish all procedures online in all three courts.

News from: Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China. 

 

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