Smart Courts in China

China Monthly Fact
November 1, 2022

As the digitalization of court proceedings in Switzerland is moving forward with the Justitia project for which we already provided a short overview in our Fact of the Month in February, we would like to seize the opportunity to give a brief overview on the Chinese digital court system in the context of this China Monthly Fact.  

China is digitalizing its judicial system and smart courts are at the core of this development. The country is engaged in this path to alleviate the workload of its judges and enable a broader access to courts. The system intends to go comparatively further than the Justitia project in Switzerland. It enables courts to hold proceedings entirely online and use technology, such as AI speech recognition, to assist court employees in their task. Already today depending on the region in China 20% to 80% of the trials are conducted online. In some cases, it is possible to file a proceeding in a matter of minutes over an application on a smartphone. Besides, the People’s Supreme Court has created a system gathering all the rulings to enable a better jurisprudential homogeneity across the country. Lastly, big data analytics provide real time information on the judicial system. For example, an overview of the current trials in the whole country can be accessed by authorities.  

The digitalization of the judicial system in China has enabled a reduction of the costs, an enhanced access to justice and a easing of the workload for court employees and judges. Even if concerns around the risks of such digitalization remain, the country has chosen the fast track.

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