Big data, other advanced technologies to help uphold justice in digital sphere
Courts in China pledged to beef up research on hot issues related to the international implementation of the rule of law while improving efficiency and quality when handling foreign-related cases, which have seen rapid growth in recent years, according to a report.
The report on foreign-related trials was submitted to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, for review on Friday.
"We should make and optimize judicial interpretations and supplement rules concerning extraterritorial application of Chinese laws, with more research on cutting-edge issues of international laws," Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court, the country's top court, said when introducing the report to lawmakers.
While calling for innovative measures to give easier access to verdict delivery and foreign law ascertainment, he also required courts nationwide to apply more advanced technologies, including big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence, in foreign-related case handling to uphold justice in the digital sphere.
A system of exchanging personnel with foreign law backgrounds among legislative bodies, law enforcement departments, judicial authorities, academies and legal service institutions should also be promoted, with greater efforts in educating international interdisciplinary talent, Zhou said.
Recalling the work of foreign trials over the past decade, he said,"Judges maintained national sovereignty, security and development interests while fighting foreign-related crimes."
Chinese courts cracked down on infiltration, sabotage, subversion and separatist activities of hostile forces to resolutely safeguard national security, the report said, adding that crimes involving cross-border drugs, telecom fraud, human trafficking, gambling and money laundering have also been strictly combated.
"We've actively cooperated in the pursuit of fugitives and stolen goods abroad, issuing judicial interpretations to improve procedures for confiscating illegal gains in cases where suspects or defendants flee or die, so that corrupt people had nowhere to escape and illicit gains nowhere to be hidden,"Zhou said.
"To strengthen the protection of human rights, the handling of foreign-related criminal cases has been regulated, and foreign defendants have been offered lawyers to help with defense," he said.
With offenses involving foreigners effectively handled, Chinese courts have also stepped up efforts in efficiently dealing with foreign-related civil and maritime disputes in the past 10 years, according to the report.
"Those civil trials played a big role in building a sound business environment and a higher-level open economy, and were highly significant to advancing the modernization of the country's governance system and governance capacity,"Zhou said.
Statistics released by the report showed that Chinese courts concluded about 384,000 cases involving overseas litigants from 2013 to June. The number of civil foreign-related disputes went up to 27,300 last year from 14,800 in 2013.
Of the civil cases, new categories — such as those regarding cross-border e-commerce, cross-border bankruptcy, cross-border mergers and acquisitions of enterprises and assets, financial derivatives investment and China-Europe Railway Express freight waybills — have been frequently emerging, and the involved litigants have covered more than 100 countries and regions, the report said.