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Top court releases full trial transcripts

By Cao Yin and An Baijie | China Daily | Updated: 2013-11-27 06:38

China's top court released the full text record of a trial involving two giant Chinese Internet companies on Tuesday, providing a full online transcript for the first time.

The record was posted online only hours after the Supreme People's Court heard the case, in which Internet security provider Qihoo 360 accused instant message carrier Tencent Inc of abusing its monopoly position.

The online posting reflects the judicial authorities' determination to boost transparency, a spokesman of the top court said on condition of anonymity.

The full trial transcript was released on, and some video clips were broadcast on China Central Television on Tuesday.

Yang Xiaojun, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, commended the first use by the top court of multimedia to broadcast a hearing, saying it could be regarded as a guide for future trials.

"Some grassroots courts, in fact, have explored broadcasting court hearings online, while this trial means our top court has approved such experiments and decided to use this as a main way to improve judicial transparency," he said.

Previously, Chinese courts only published verdicts, but now the top court has also acted to open up legal procedures, "which is crucial for transparency," Yang added.

Wang Xixin, a Peking University professor who specializes in administrative law, also commented that the top court was demonstrating how to boost judicial transparency.

"The key to fulfilling our legal credibility is to make every part of trials 'visible', which requires us to disclose more information," he said. Wang added he was pleased to see the top court had taken the first step and made efforts for the disclosure of judicial procedures.

However, Guo Jie, a legal officer at a court in Sanming, Fujian province, said it is better for courts to selectively broadcast trials, "because not all trials carry great meaning or are suitable for disclosure".

Every verdict must be open on courts' websites, "but some cases involving minor offenders or divorced couples, I think, should be protected and veiled to some extent," she said.

Moreover, not all courts have the funding to install the equipment to record trials, she added.

The broadcasting of trials dates back to August, when the Jinan Intermediate People's Court released daily records of the trial of former senior official Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery and embezzlement.

The Jinan court tweeted hundreds of posts on the trial proceedings, including transcripts, pictures and audio and video files of evidence, on its micro blog, attracting more than 526,000 followers.

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