China has developed mobile courts with artificial-intelligence judges and verdicts delivered through chat apps aiming to deal with backlogs in cases. Litigants appear by video chats as AI judge with avatar hears the cases.
The country is urging digitization to streamline case-handling within its court system using cyberspace technologies such as blockchain and cloud computing, according to the Supreme People's Court in a policy paper.
The paper was released in the first week of December as judicial authorities provided journalists a sneak peek of the country's first cyber court which was established in 2017 in Hangzhou city.
Social media platform WeChat has reportedly handled over three million legal cases already or other judicial procedures since its launch in March.
In a demonstration, authorities presented how the Hangzhou Internet Court works, featuring an online interface with the AI judge that prompts the hearing.
Cases handled in the digital court include online trade disputes, copyright cases, and e-commerce product liability claims.
Litigants can register civil complaints online and log on for hearing.
Such simple functions can help ease the burden on human justices who monitor proceedings and make the significant rulings in each case.
Concluding cases "at a faster speed is a kind of justice because justice delayed is justice denied," Hangzhou Internet Court Vice President Ni Defeng said.
The use of blockchain technology was useful in helping to streamline and create clearer records of the legal process, Ni added.
A total of 118 764 cases have been accepted, and 88 401 were concluded, according to the Supreme People's Court. The mobile court option on WeChat enables users to complete case-related actions, without having to appear in the court physically.
It has been launched in 12 provinces and regions.
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