Dispute resolution through arbitration, mediation and cost-effective and timely measures has been a cherished dream for the communities globally. In the new age, the need for confidential and quick resolution of disputes based on justice and equality between commercial entities through cost-effective measures is a major challenge.
Confucius says that justice is the “real essence” of a progressive society and sustainable social development. Whereas, the real philosophy of socialism also speaks highly about justice and the Chinese model of Internet Court is the replica of it.
In this backdrop, China’s online internet courts are doing wonders and thousands of litigants are being provided immediate, transparent and cost-effective justice without spending money.
In the age of Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese authorities focused on online dispute resolution through internet courts. Initially, these courts were established in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.
The internet courts do not require citizens to appear in court as the ‘smart court’ allows participants to register their cases online and resolve their matters via a digital court hearing.
The Chinese internet courts handle a variety of disputes, which include intellectual property, e-commerce, financial disputes related to online conduct, loans acquired or performed online, patent registration, domain name issues, intellectual property and civil rights cases involving the Internet, product liability arising from online purchases and certain administrative disputes.
Internet Courts of China has legal and administrative protection in term of carrying the cases, giving verdicts and enforcement of decisions and laws of the land empower these courts to take all possible appropriate measures to protect the sanctity of the law which clearly upholds that Chinese are law-loving people and always respect other different views.
The Beijing Internet Court deals in 11 different types of cases. It was established during September 2018. Till now more than 400,000 cases have been received and more than 85 percent have now been resolved which has the highest percentage of judicial efficiency in the world. There are specialized judges working 24/7 to resolve the disputes between two parties. On average every judge has 1000 cases which are indeed commendable. It usually takes 86 days to reach its conclusion. With special reference to maintain complete elements of impartiality and accuracy, all the decisions are being judged through different innovative means, making the Internet Court an apex status in the judicial system of China.
An official of Beijing Internet Court told this scribe that impartiality and justice are core characteristics of the online litigation process.
“Beijing Internet court is for protection of human rights under its zero-distance policy. We provide live streaming of court hearings which is a revolutionary online justice system. This is a blockchain evidence platform which is using 5G and big data technology. The parties have the right to appeal in financial court or intermediary court and 99.99 percent cases are heard online while 0.01 percent cases are offline hearings of cases,” the official said.
“The average time of the whole process is 86 days while most of the cases are of civil nature. But if the matter gets criminal in nature, it is referred to other courts and once decided, the civil case hearing may resume again in the internet court,” the official asserted.
The official said that mostly people turn to the internet court on weekends and the court follows the principle of establishing rules through judges.
“Interestingly, even foreign companies also have the right to approach the Chinese Internet Court to seek justice. Amazon, Apple and many other multinational companies have filed online petitions in this regard which clearly shows their utmost confidence in the judicial system of China,” the official added.
Moreover, he added, it has revolutionized the concept of Legal Artificial Intelligence management system in the country which is providing the cheapest source of justice in the country by removing all barriers of physical, physiological, philosophical and geographical barriers of the plaintiff which is indeed commendable.
“Beijing, Hangzhou and Hangzhou courts have regional cases to deal with. All the three courts are revolutionary in nature. During the pandemic, all courts provided online services. During the pandemic, the ratio of online cases rose to 44 percent which brought about a revolution in China’s litigation history,” the official said.
With the formation and activation of the Internet Courts mechanism the entire process from filing to adjudication is one line which brings great convenience to both defendant and plaintiff.
“Now the latest technologies of Artificial Intelligence and blockchains are being applied in these internet courts in China which has definitely increased the overall efficiency of the Chinese Judiciary,” the official added.
“The Beijing Internet Court is totally open, transparent and accountable and all its hearings can be watched and heard live streaming. It has already further enhanced judicial process efficiency and safeguarded the basic rights of common people alike,” he said.
Asked if and how the world could benefit from the Chinese model of internet courts, the official said that the online judicial services may be expanded worldwide to help provide justice to complainants at their doorstep.
“This advanced service can help the developing countries meet the challenges of the new era,” the official concluded.