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China's Internet courts cut trial time by 70 percent

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-10-16

     

BEIJING -- The use of online methods by China's three Internet courts has significantly reduced the time spent on trials and concluding cases, the president of the Supreme People's Court Zhou Qiang said on Oct 15.

The duration of a court trial at the internet courts has been reduced to just 29 minutes on average, about 73 percent less than an offline trial, Zhou told the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress as he delivered a report on improving civil adjudication to ensure sustained and healthy economic and social development.

By using online methods, the Internet courts are able to conclude a case in 42 days on average, saving 57 percent of the time compared with traditional litigation, he said.

China's three Internet courts, located in Hangzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou, mainly handle civil and administrative cases related to the Internet, such as contract disputes involving online shopping, service and small loans, copyright and infringement lawsuits, domain name disputes, and some administrative lawsuits.

The courts' proceedings are conducted largely online, which means the filing of lawsuits, mediation, exchanging evidence, hearing and announcing judgments take place through a customized Internet platform.

However, Internet courts can conduct trials offline when the judges need to identify the parties involved face to face and examine evidence.

The court in Hangzhou opened in August 2017, while the Beijing and Guangzhou courts opened in September 2018.