SPC Opinion on 3 Platforms for Judicial Transparency

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 Legal dispatch (2013) No.13

  Notice of the Supreme People's Court's Issuance of "Opinions on Several Issues Relating to Advancing the Establishment of Three Platforms for Judicial Openness"

  Local people's courts at all levels across the nation, military courts at all levels, and courts of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

The Supreme People's Court's "Opinion on Several Issues Relating to Advancing the Establishment of Three Platforms for Judicial Openness" is hereby issued, please earnestly implement it.

Supreme People's Court

November 21, 2013

  Opinion on Several Issues Relating to Advancing the Establishment of Three Major Platforms for Judicial Openness"

The following opinion is submitted to implement the spirit of the third plenary session of the eighteenth Party and further deepen judicial openness, relying on modern information technology to create a judicial sunshine project, comprehensively advancing openness in the judicial process and disclosure of judgment documents, to establish three major platforms for information disclosure, and to enhance public understanding, trust and oversight of the judiciary.

  I. The Significance, Goals and Requirements of Advancing the Establishment of Three Major Platforms for Judicial Openness

  1. Fully understand the great significance of establishing three major platforms for judicial openness. Establishing three major platforms for judicial openness is an important strategic measure in the people's courts adjustment to an information age, and in satisfying the public's new expectations for judicial openness. People's courts should take promoting social fairness and justice, and increase the well-being of the people, as a foothold and starting point, to comprehensively advance the establishment of three major platforms for judicial openness.

  2. Strive to bring about the basic goals of advancing the establishment of three major platforms for judicial openness. The people's courts shall, through the construction of information platforms for communication with the public and for mutual interaction, comprehensively bring about openness and transparency of the trial process, judgment documents and enforcement information, causing the three platforms for judicial openness to become an important window displaying the modern rule of law civilization, an important method of ensuring the parties' litigation rights and an important path for performing the people's courts' social responsibility. By comprehensively advancing the establishment of three major platforms of judicial openness, truly let the people feel fairness and justice from every case.

  3. Correctly grasp the overall requirements for establishing three major platforms for judicial openness. People's courts shall raise their level of understanding and transform their conceptions, to strictly follow the following requirements to advance establishment of the three major platforms for judicial openness:

  (1)Unified planning and organized advancement. Under the unified leadership of the Supreme People's Court and the overall planning of each high people's court, and on the basis of actual conditions, the people's courts shall incrementally and in an organized progressive way, advance the establishment of the three major platforms for judicial openness. Model courts for judicial openness and courts with a definite foundation in information, shall take the lead in completing the task of establishment.

  (2)Propelled by science and technology, convenience and high efficiency. The people's courts shall, based on modern information technology, continuously innovate means of public disclosure, expand the channels of disclosure and, through the establishment of online case-handling systems and safe transport and connection mechansims for platforms for judicial openness; effectively bring about all kinds

  (3)Based on service and gradually expanding. The people's courts shall fully bring into play the three platforms for judicial openness' roles in providing information, gathering opinions and feeding-back information; gradually develop their supplementary functions in allowing remote case filing, announcements, delivery, courtroom trial hearings, evidentiary hearings, check and control; and increase the efficiency of interactive services. The public's submission of opinions and suggestions through the platforms shall become an important basis for the people's courts trial management, trial oversight, discipline inspections and supervision and advancement of work.

  II. Advancing the Establishment of Platforms for the Disclosure of Trial Processes

  4. People's courts shall strengthen the technological and normative construction of litigation service centers (case filing halls); utilize information technologies such as the government affairs website, the 12368 voice telephone system, cell phone text messaging platforms, electronic notice boards and touch screens to provide comprehensive, diversified and efficient disclosure service for the trial process.

  5.People's courts shall disclose the following information to the public through the trial process disclosure platforms: (1)Organizational information such as the court's address, traffic diagram, contact information, jurisdiction scope, courts under the jurisdiction, internal department and their functions, and complaint channels; (2)Personnel information such as the names, titles and judicial rank of members of the adjudication committee and adjudicators; (3)Judicial openness guidelines information such as the scope of disclosure and inquiry methods for the trial process, judgment documents and enforcement information. (4)Litigation guidelines information such as the requirements for filing cases, requesting new hearings, appellate complaint requirements and requests, litigation processes, types of litigation documents, litigation fee standards, procedures and requirements for waiving or reducing litigation fees, reminder of litigation risks, and available options for non-litigation dispute resolution mechanisms; (5)Information on trial guidance documents such as trial practice documents, guiding cases, and reference cases; (6) Information on court hearings such as notices of court sessions and notice of evidentiary hearings. (7)Information on registries such as the registry of people's assessors, registry of specially invited mediation organizations or mediation personnel, or registry of evaluation, auction and other social intermediary organizations.

  6.People's courts shall consolidate all types of trial process information, to facilitate the parties use of a password to access the following information beginning the date the case is is accepted from the trial process disclosure platform: (1)Case filing information such as the name of the case, the case number, the cause of action, and the case filing date; (2)The names of the members of the collegial panel, the names of the presiding judge and clerks and the office telephone ; (3)delivery, handling of jurisdiction power, property preservation and advance enforcement circumstances; (4)Information on points in the trial process such as the time for court sessions, the time for hearings, changes to the trial limits, and procedural changes.

  7. People's courts shall actively advance the digitilisation of case documents, improving conversion processes, transfer mechanisms and backup methods, to give full play to the function of electronic files in increasing efficiency, cost savings, in benefiting and conveniencing the people.

  8.The people's courts shall actively innovate methods for releasing trial proceeding information, using methods such as video, audio, illustrations and micro-blogs to timely release trial process information. People's courts' announcements of court sessions or evidentiary hearings, shall at the latest be disclosed on the trial process disclosure platform, three days before the court session or evidentiary hearing.

  9.People's courts shall increase the scientific and technological construction of courtrooms and make real-time audio-visual recordings of hearing activities to achieve 'each court must be recorded', and to consolidate storage, periodically backup and preserve for a long time in data format. Where parties request to review the audio-visual recording of courtroom hearings, the people's court may provide a venue for the review.

  III. Advancing the Establishment of Platforms for Disclosure of Judgment Documents

  10. The Supreme People's court establishes the China Judicial Opinions Network as the whole country's unified platform for release of judgment documents. Local people's courts at all levels shall set up links to the China Judicial Opinion Network in conspicuous places on government service websites and strictly follow the "Supreme People's Court Provisions on Releasing Judgment Documents on the Internet" to transfer judgment documents to the China Judicial Opinion Network within 7 days of the judgment taking effect. Judgment documents from cases with value as legal education, models or guidance, may be released by the people's courts on government service microblogs, by means such as providing links or using long microblogging.

  11. Disclosure shall be the rule, and non-disclosure the exception, in releasing information on the internet; and not impediment must be established to this work outside of laws and judicial interpretations. People's courts at all levels are responsible for the quality of judgment documents they upload to the China Judicial Opinions Network.

  12. People's courts shall strictly grasp the relationship between ensuring the public's right to know, maintaining citizen's privacy rights and personal information security, together with the type of case, to technically process personal information not suitable for disclosure. Where party information was inappropriately disclosed because of network transfer obstructions or technical processing errors, people's courts shall follow procedures to promptly corrected or modified.

  13. The China Judicial Opinion Network shall provide convenient effective query retrieval systems, to facilitate the public's searching the judgment documents released on that network by keyword and ensuring effective access to judgment documents.

  14. The Supreme People's Court shall take the lead in advancing that court's internet release of judgment documents, and oversee and guide local courts of all levels efforts to judgment documents on the internet. All high people's courts oversee and guide the efforts of courts in their jurisdictional area to release judgment documents on the internet. People's courts at all levels shall designate a special agency responsible for the organization, management, guidance and oversight of efforts to release judgment documents on the internet, and to improve work processes and clarify work duties.

  IV. Advancing the Establishment of Platforms for Carrying Out Information Disclosure

  15. People's courts shall standardize information consolidation, exchange and utilization activities, and with the precondition of ensuring information security, bring about information sharing between superior and inferior courts, between courts of different regions, and betweem judgment and enforcement departments.

  16. People's courts shall integrate all kinds of enforcement information, to facilitate parties access of the following information on the enforcement information information platform by use of password: (1)Enforcement case filing information; (2)enforcement personnel information; (3)information on changes in enforcement procedures; (4)enforcement measures information; (5)information on disposition of property in enforcement; (6)information of enforcement judgments; (7)enforcement case closing information; (8) the implementation of payment distributions information; (9)Information on stays of enforcement, suspension of enforcement, and the conclusion of enforcement。

  17. People's courts shall disclose the following information to the public through the enforcement information platforms: (1)the standard for filing enforcement cases, initiation procedures, enforcement cost standards and bases, requirements and procedures for suspending, reducing or waiving enforcement fees; (2)reminder of enforcement risks; (3)notices of reward offers and auctions or other such notices.

  18. People's courts shall make audio or visual recordings of evidentiary hearings and allow the parties to review them upon request. People's courts with the capacity shall equip enforcement personnel with information systems connected to the enforcement command center systems to have real time transmission of on scene enforcement videos and audio recordings to the enforcement command center via wireless networking, and promptly achive them to bring about disclosure of the full enforcement process.

  19. People's courts shall give full play to the credit disciplinary function of the enforcement information disclosure platform against persons subject to enforcement who have not kept their word, disclosing the following information to the public , and facilitating the public's inquiries by a person subject to enforcement's name or designation, ID number or ofanizational institutional code for the query: (1)Information on the person subject to enforcement in cases where enfocement has not yet been concluded; (2)Information on the creditor blacklist; (3)information on the list of persons subject to enforcement whose ability to leave the country is restricted; (4) information on lists of persons subject to enforcement with restrictions on their bidding; (5) Information on name lists of persons subject to enforcement who are are restricted from high consumption.

  20. People's courts shall provide rational, accurate and comprehensive information for all types of credit information system, and bring about the effective connection between enforcement information disclosure platforms and all kinds of credit information platforms.

  V. Work Mechanisms

  21. Enhance organization leadership,strengthen job security. The Supreme People's Court gives unified guidance for advancing the establishment of three major platforms for judicial openness in the nation's courts, formulates a plan for advancement , develops software, confirms evaluation standards and periodically inspects and supervises. Within their jurisdictional areas, each high people's court coordinates efforts to advance the establishment of the three major platforms for judicial openness, perfect the implementing rules, coordinate to resolve problems, and consolidate promotion experience. The principle leaders of people's courts at all levels should treat the advancement of the three major platforms for judicial openness as a 'head' project, putting it on the agenda of important events, actively struggling to gain the Part Committee's, people's congress;s and government's support. Effective measures should be employed to continuously improve equipment and facilities and technical capacities, to provide powerful material safeguards for the establishment of the three major platforms for judicial openness.

  22. Complete overall coordination, improve supporting mechanisms. People's courts of all levels should make clear management organizations, specially responsible for advancing the establishment of the three major platforms for judicial openness Effective coordination mechanisms should be established to strengthen communication and cooperation in the judicial openness management departments, and to raise the pro-activeness and sense of responsibility among first line personnel in judicial openness work. Strengthen the guidance responsibility of higher courts to lower courts in deepening judicial openness efforts, and promptly summarizing experiences and correcting deviations.

  23.Enhance supervision and inspections, vigorously carry out work. Inspection and evaluation of efforts to advance the establishment of the three major platforms for judicial openness should employ a combination of supervision, spot checks and self-checks, emphasizing the systematization, smoothness and effectiveness of the the major platforms, and cannot only pursue rankings and indexes and even more so, cannot be fomalistic. Strongly do publicity work for the three major of judicial openness to ensure that the public knows of the people's courts' methods of deepening judicial openness, that they are inspected by the public, and recognized by the public.

 

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