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Openness is crucial to judicial reform | Updated: 2013-05-20 19:15

According to the Supreme Court, a new website might be opened this year dedicated to publishing verdicts. This would mark a giant step in judicial reform, says an article in Beijing News (excerpts below).

With the "possibility" of opening a website for verdicts within the year, the long dream of many people, to browse verdicts online may finally come true.

Reviewing verdicts allows people to understand the legal basis for such decisions.

Theoretically, the courts should be transparent and subject to society's supervision. However, without publishing court documents it is hardly possible for the public to acknowledge, let alone question, the actual judicial processes.

Maybe a good example is Nie Shubin from Hebei province, whose case was reviewed as new evidence came to light in 2005, ten years after he was executed. His mother appealed to see the verdict.

"The court never gave us a copy of the verdict. Where else can I get one?" she pleaded.

Of course, the ultimate purpose of publishing verdicts online should be ensuring public supervision of judicial activities.

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