Top court vows more pressure on defaulters

Updated: Jan 23, 2019 China Daily Print
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Shared information platform helps find real estate holdings and other assets

China's top court pledged on Tuesday that it will continue to pressure people who fail to comply with judgments against them and will offer suggestions for laws further squeezing defaulters.

Usually the judgments involve payment of money, but other kinds of defaults will also get greater court scrutiny, such as failing to fulfill the terms of a contract, or, in criminal cases, to apologize to the victims.

Thanks to efforts over the past five years, the number of defendants who did not have to be forced by a court to comply with a judgment is rising, while those named on a blacklist has begun declining, said Liu Guixiang, a member of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court.

So far, 3.51 million defaulters have complied with court judgments, and the number of judgments in which defendants complied voluntarily increased to 57 percent in 2017 from 45 percent in 2015, according to the court.

The improvement can be attributed to various measures over the past five years designed to ensure compliance, such as restricting defaulters' daily activities and establishing a platform to discover their property and other assets.

A person named as a defaulter by a court and put on the blacklist is barred from buying airline tickets, traveling by high-speed train or representing a new company as its executive or legal officer, the top court said.

From October 2013 to December last year, defaulters on the list had been prevented from taking 17.4 million flights and 5.47 million rail journeys.

It has also become easier for judges to find and freeze defaulters' assets, including real estate, savings accounts and automobiles through the courts' online platform that was established with banks and financial institutions in 2014.

The platform has helped judges search for and freeze defaulters' property in more than 60 million cases as of the end of last year, the top court said.

As the courts further step up measures, said Zhou Qiang, president of the top court, they will also contribute to legislation designed to force defaulters to comply and establish a system on personal bankruptcy. The moves will help regulate judges' behavior and accelerate the implementation of rulings, Zhou said.

The effective measures were outlined to people from more than two dozen countries and two international organizations on Tuesday at the top court's World Enforcement Conference in Shanghai.

Muhammad Hatta Ali, Chief Justice of Indonesia's Supreme Court, said such conferences play a valuable role in sharing judicial experiences.

"I'm particularly interested in the technology and information application in the implementation," he said. "It's important as the world is moving further into the digital age."

He added that simple and cost-effective systems that can improve compliance with court rulings should be further encouraged.

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