Judicial Transparency by People's Courts
I. Basic Situation of the Deepening of Judicial Transparency by People's Courts
Promoting judicial transparency is an important task of the people's courts as well as an important way and method to protect the litigation information right, participation right, supervision right and expression right of the general public. With further advancement of judicial reform and information construction, the judicial transparency of people’s courts has achieved huge progress. Since the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party, the Supreme People's Court ("SPC") has made the promotion of judicial transparency an important reform measure for judicial reform and successively issued the Several Opinions on Promoting the Construction of Three Platforms for Judicial Transparency, the Provisions on Publishing Judgments, Verdicts and Conciliation Statements on Internet by People's Courts, the Several Opinions on Enforcement Process Transparency by People's Courts and other normative documents, which form the top-level design and overall layout for judicial transparency. The people’s courts throughout the country vigorously advance the data basis, network basis and information basis of judicial transparency by fully utilizing the opportunities of building people's court information 3.0 and building "smart courts", and accelerate comprehensive optimization and upgrade from the contents to the methods of such transparency.
Since 2013, the judicial transparency of the people's courts has driven into the fast lane. The people's courts not only rely on traditional means of transparency such as radio, television, newspapers, magazines and other traditional media as well as inviting citizens to attend the trials, but focus more on using the information technology to build four transparency platforms, i.e. trial process, court trial, judgment documents and enforcement information, throughout the country, thereby creating a diversified new pattern of judicial transparency supported by traditional media, governmental service websites, white paper, press conference, 12368 service hotline, Weibo, WeChat and other new media. The people's courts at all levels have been constantly updating the judicial transparency concept, improving the judicial transparency platforms, innovating the judicial transparency measures, constantly exploring the width and depth of the judicial transparency, enhancing the quality and effect of transparency, satisfying diversified judicial demands of the general public and effectively promoting judicial fairness, which have increased the judicial transparency and judicial credibility. It has been realized that disclosure activities run through the whole trial process and fully reflected the complete picture of litigation activities. The disclosure objects have been expanded from targeting the parties involved to targeting all litigant participants and the public, and the lawyer service platform and social public service platform have been built, so as to realize the organic bond of the point-to-point individual transparency and the general daily transparency.
Judicial transparency platform realizes optimization and upgrade. The performance of judicial transparency platforms of all kinds keeps optimizing and upgrading, as the functions of which are in on-going integration and improvement. High people's courts have completed the construction of four platforms for trial process disclosure, court trial disclosure, disclosure of judgments, verdicts and conciliation statements, and disclosure of enforcement information, and realized the connection with the national uniform public platform. The China Judicial Process Information Online has further enriched information resources, implemented scientific classification, improved convenient inquiry and opened interactive feedback channel, which have effectively improved user experience. The China Judgments Online has completed upgrade and transformation, expanded the application functions of judgments, verdicts and conciliation statements and better satisfied the diversified needs of all kinds of users. High people’s courts have integrated the four platforms into their local litigation service website or court information disclosure website, and realized the information interconnection, function integration and uniform access of and to the disclosure platforms, to gradually form a disclosure platform layout characterized as complete online and offline connection, comprehensive information and full coverage of personalized needs.
Judicial transparency means realize crossover and integration. People's courts at all levels have taken the construction of "smart court" and "e-court" as the opportunity to greatly promote the crossover and integration of the judicial transparency and "Internet +", to advance the judicial transparency work by internet thinking centered on real-time, rapidness, huge number, interaction and experience. The people’s courts at all levels have made full use of the Internet and modern information technologies to constantly expand the channels and ways for the public to obtain judicial information by creating websites on administrative affairs of courts and 12368 litigation service platform, and making public Weibo and WeChat IDs, mobile news client and mobile APPs, and building up "courts on fingertips" and "courts in the era of mobile internet", so as to provide the three-dimensional, one-stop, comprehensive and interactive judicial disclosure services, therefore building up a more transparent and open judicial environment.
In-depth application of judicial information publicly accessible has been realized. The people's courts have realized full connection between judicial transparency and litigation service; with the aid of information technology, rendered it more convenient and efficient for the public to access judicial information, understand judicial developments, participate in judicial process, supervise judicial activities and feed back their opinions on judicial practices; with the aid of big data and cloud computation technology, caught and analyzed relevant data to take statistics on the pattern of judicial practices in cases of similar types, understand the views and opinions of the public on judicial practices, and analyze the public’s demands for and expectations of justice. With respect to publication of judgments, on the basis of publication of the contents of judgments, additional applications, such as search of legal provisions, links to typical cases of the same type, related theories and doctrines, have been developed to promote in-depth study of judicial judgments. The List of Dishonest Persons subject to Enforcement was published, to establish a unified investigation, control and punishment mechanism and promote the building of social credit system.
In October 2016, SPC President Zhou Qiang delivered a report to the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress on advancing judicial transparency and promoting judicial fairness. The work of the people's courts on judicial transparency was highly affirmed by the Standing Committee and members of the National People's Congress.