China / Government

In Beijing, senior judges are back in courtrooms

By CAO YIN ( Updated: 2015-10-29 16:08

Senior judges who once focused on administrative affairs have been returning to the courtroom to handle lawsuits, a move aimed at improving the quality of decision making and enforcing judicial reform, an official of the Beijing High People's Court said today.

Asking judicial officials, including court presidents and chief judges, to go back to hearing cases has appropriately put the Beijing court's priority on trials, said Yuan Yuan, director of the court's trial management office.

Many senior judges had spent more time tackling administrative affairs, attending conferences and participating in research, "which separated them from their key work, case hearing, at times," Yuan said.

China's central leadership ordered reforms aimed at improving judicial credibility in 2013.

From December 2014 to mid October, 873 of the city's court presidents and chief judges had heard 58,239 disputes, the court said.

Three presidents at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, for example, heard 197 cases after the court was established in November, and its four chief judges heard 455 cases, the court said.

Song Yushui, vice president of the IP court, said her time back in the courtroom helped her to identify problems.

"As a senior judicial official, what I should do is guide young judges. Only when I'm in the courtroom to hear a case, can I accurately see the trial problems and help the younger judges resolve them efficiently," Song said.

Most IP disputes are complicated and involve advanced technology, so a judge's skills improve by hearing more cases, she said.

Zhang Wen, president of Changping District People's Court, said that judicial officials who return to courtrooms will better understand the difficulties in hearing cases, "which can help them develop related studies."

In 2014, presidents and chief judges in Changping heard more than 5,500 cases, or 25 percent of the total, Zhang said.

"Resuming trials cannot be done superficially," she added. "We should hear cases, especially the complicated ones, ask questions, and put forward solutions at the end."

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