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Appeals to be heard in more timely manner

Updated: 2015-04-16 07:49
By Cao Yin (China Daily)

Guideline will help courts implement judicial reform and remove unnecessary barriers

Chinese courts are required to accept appeals without hesitation and reply to litigants in a timely manner under a guideline by the country's top court.

A civil, criminal or administrative appeal should be received once it is registered instead of waiting until a preliminary review of the merits of the case has been completed, according to the guideline by the Supreme People's Court.

In other words, situations in which courts refused to accept lawsuits or ignored appeals must be avoided, and courts that delay filings or make other difficulties for litigants should make corrections.

The guideline, which takes effect on May 1, aims to implement a judicial reform. It was printed and sent to grassroots courts on Wednesday.

It also protects people's right to litigate by breaking down unnecessary procedural barriers that slow the judicial process, according to the top court.

For people who are not qualified or whose materials are not complete, the court should let them know in writing what they still need to provide and the deadline.

A court should decide whether to file a civil case within seven days, and a criminal one within 15 days.

The stricter time limits provides a higher requirement for courts in a bid to root out the problem that it is too hard to file a case in the country, said the top court.

The written reply can also ensure the accuracy of materials and avoid litigants coming to a court again and again, or repeatedly handing in useless documents, according to the top court.

Meanwhile, every court should establish an online platform to accept registration of litigants, prepare for a possible increasing number of lawsuits and improve its services, the top court said.

Liu Jihua, a law professor at Renmin University of China, said lowering the threshold for filing a case can reduce petitions and improve judicial credibility.

"Residents need easier legal access to express their disputes," Liu said.


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