New technologies will be piloted in Internet courts and further flow into all other courts in China.
We have published a series of posts on Internet courts on CJO, which has been updated to seven pieces at present. We are so concerned about the Internet court not only because it is a new thing, but also in that the status quo of the Internet court will be the future of all other courts in China.
Jason Tashea published the article titled China’s all-virtual specialty Internet courts look set to expand into other areas of the law in ABA Journal (Winter 2019-2020 issue), describing the Internet courts in China as follows:
“Built to more efficiently resolve the increasing number of online disputes finding their way into the Chinese court system, internet courts also act as an incubator for a judiciary going through rapid change.”
In our opinion, the term “incubator” accurately describes the position of Internet courts in the eyes of the SPC.
Jason Tashea interviewed with Dr. Meng Yu (余萌), founder of China Justice Observer, and quoted Yu’s opinions that the Internet court has improved the judicial efficiency and has also been welcomed by lawyers.
Jason Tashea also mentioned the view of Professor Susan Finder, namely:
The Internet courts were not created in a vacuum: They fall into a larger set of judicial reforms as China looks to improve the rule of law and international confidence in its court system.
We also agree with Professor Finder in this regard. In fact, the relationship between the development of court information system and judicial reform in China is so close that Justice Zhou Qiang (周强), President of the SPC, described the relationship as “two wings of a bird” or “two wheels of a bicycle”(鸟之两翼，车只两轮). Internet courts, AI in courts and judgments going online are all part of this huge information system.
We are writing a paper to analyze why the judicial reform of the court is so closely related to the information system. In short, we believe that the goal of judicial reform cannot be achieved only by publishing some new rules, or it will result in a money-and-time-consuming situation. However, if the judicial reform measures are turned into some functions in the information system, it may be easier to achieve the SPC’s desired results.
In other words, the court’s information system (including Internet courts) is no longer just a technical innovation, but involves judicial reform and even political needs. Therefore, we have been closely following the technical development of Chinese courts.