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Circuit judges offer justice outside the courtroom

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-13 09:12
A mediation session is conducted at a village. Photo/xinhua

Border trial

On the same day, Judge Gao Bo moved her bench to Jiegao, a border township in Ruili, for another public hearing. After about an hour, the defendant, surnamed Sun, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 10,000 yuan for stealing a nugget of raw jade worth 90,000 yuan from a shopper at a night market.

It was the seventh time the court had held a trial in Jiegao since the beginning of the year.

As a city on the border with Myanmar, Ruili sees more than 40,000 visitors from Myanmar every year, and they must pass through Jiegao, according to a court statement, which added that wood and jade processing and design are the city's main industries.

"In recent years, the frequent visits, exchanges and intermarriage between the two nations have resulted in a rise in the number of disputes, such as those related to private loans, purchases, marriage, drug trafficking, theft and gambling," Gao said.

"We often select influential cases to hear at the circuit trial in Jiegao to show the people that we are upholding justice, and to let people from Myanmar know that they must abide by Chinese law if they live or work here."

For Chen Yueqi, a student at a vocational school in Ruili who attended the hearing, the experience was unforgettable.

"It was the first time I had watched a court resolve a case. It was very different from the pictures and videos provided by our teachers in school. I could really feel the solemnity of justice, and the judge's explanation of the ruling helped me understand more about the Criminal Law," the 17-year-old said.

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