Chinese courts to deepen reforms: top judge

Updated : 2016-01-20

Chinese courts should push forward judicial reforms and provide effective legal services to support China’s economic and social development, said Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People’s Court, China’s highest court.

The top judge made the remark on January 14 during an inspection of courts in south China’s Guangdong province.

Zhou stressed judicial service for the people as well as fairness and transparency, vowing zero toleration for judicial corruption.

Courts should equally protect the lawful rights and interests of various market players, both domestic and foreign, and create a favorable legal environment for China’s reform, opening up and economic development, he said.

He urged courts to keep track of world trends in the legal field, enhance international exchanges and actively push for and participate in improvements to international rules.

During a visit to the Guangzhou Maritime Court, Zhou praised the court’s efforts in promoting judicial openness.

The court’s website has launched an English version, where judges explain some cases in English and the latest developments, including trials and enforcement documents, are published.

A reform of the mechanisms of judicial power that the court initiated in 1999 has shown effects, which Zhou said other courts can learn from.

The top judge called on the Guangzhou court to keep close watch on the world’s maritime judicial development and play a leading role in helping build China into an influential maritime judicial center. He also urged it to provide effective legal services and support to help Guangdong attain its goals of becoming a world shipping center while making the province stronger through an ocean strategy. The court could in this way contribute to the implementation of China’s Road and Belt initiative.

Zhou also visited a new court in the Guangdong free trade zone (FTZ), which was unveiled on December 30 as China’s first FTZ court. The court is located in Nansha district and will be put into operation soon. It has piloted a series of innovative improvements, which Zhou said are good for deepening judicial reforms and facilitating the FTZ’s development.