Officials' participation in hearings up, top court says

Updated: Feb 17, 2023 Print
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Chinese courts have played a big role in supervising governments in the performance of their duties over the past decade, with unceasing efforts in helping the country promote law-based governance, China's top court said on Wednesday.

About 10 years ago, residents often complained it was difficult to see officials attend case hearings, although they were named as defendants by courts.

The problem, however, has been much alleviated since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, especially after the Supreme People's Court issued a judicial interpretation urging government agencies to participate in administrative case hearings.

Since 2012, courts across the country heard more than 2.35 million lawsuits against government departments, 2.27 million of which have been concluded according to statistics released by the top court at the sixth national work meeting on administrative trials on Wednesday.

The statistics showed officials came to court to attend some 65.4 percent of cases in 2021, with government agencies in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province participating in all lawsuits in which they were sued over the past three years.

In addition, courts in Shanxi, Hubei, Anhui provinces and the Tibet autonomous region also have taken measures to urge officials to appear during trials to ensure administrative disputes could be solved more efficiently.

In September, the Shanxi High People's Court issued a report revealing courts across the province filed 11,131 administrative cases in 2021, up 39.4 percent year-on-year, indicating legal awareness among residents has been enhanced.

The report also noted local officials appeared in 75.2 percent of case hearings in 2021, up 8.34 percent year-on-year.

The participation of those officials helped alleviate conflicts with plaintiffs and contributed to improving judicial efficiency and building law-based governance in the province, the Shanxi court said.

While advancing the participation of government agencies, Chinese courts have also solved a number of administrative disputes concerning the country's development strategies.

To help create a sound business environment, for instance, courts nationwide have dealt with 38,000 administrative cases involving investment promotion, public-private partnerships and franchises since 2016.

During the period, about 90,000 administrative cases regarding intellectual property and monopoly have also been heard to serve the national unified market.

Furthermore, 357,000 environmental cases against government agencies have been solved by courts since 2013.


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