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Online platforms, specialist mediation help courts resolve cases more rapidly

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-02-25

     

More than 6.1 million disputes were resolved by Chinese courts before litigation last year, up 43.86 percent year-on-year, according to a report issued by China's top court on Thursday.

The Supreme People's Court said that the disputes were ended through mediation, adding that compared to litigation, this process was much faster.

"What we have done is to offer diversified means for settling disputes, including mediation and litigation, to help people choose the way that is most suitable for their problems, saving time and improving the efficiency of courts," Qian Xiaochen, head of the top court's Case Filing Division, told media on Thursday.

Prior to 2019, when the Supreme People's Court began to diversify solutions, courts were so flooded with cases, most of which were relatively trivial, that it was difficult for judges to focus on genuinely significant disputes.

In the past three years, courts have been allowed to invite mediators and professional institutions, such as those involved in finance, medical care and consumer rights protection, to help handle simpler disputes.

Additionally, the Supreme People's Court urged courts across the country to create online mediation platforms to reduce caseloads and save time. By the end of last year, more than 24 million cases had been mediated online, according to the report.

Qian said that everyone still has the right to decide whether to solve their dispute through mediation or litigation, adding that courts will respect their decision.

"Litigation service centers at courts are always open for a face-to-face discussion of disputes," he said. "If litigants then choose the online route, they'll still be assured top quality service."

After seeing the success of the initiative the Supreme People's Court called for all courts to make mediation services accessible to villages and communities management platforms last November to help people resolve disputes at home and in the initial stage, he said.

Qian added that more than 95 percent of courts nationwide will have access to the management platform of communities or villages by the middle of this month.