The Smart Court – A New Pathway to Justice in China?
- Changqing ShiEmail Changqing Shi
- Tania Sourdin
- Bin Li
As with other jurisdictions, China has introduced a range of newer technologies into its justice sector to promote greater access to justice, improve judicial transparency and to promote just outcomes for disputing parties with legal issues. Chinese courts’ practice of embracing technology is unique as an overarching approach has been adopted by the central government to build the ‘smart court’ system across the entirety of its courts. Arguably, the smart court system, which relies on computer technologies that enable big data use, blockchain formation and advisory and determinative forms of artificial legal intelligence, has, to a certain degree, promoted easier access to justice, enabled faster dispute resolution, saved costs by moving judicial process online and ensured that judgments can be enforced. On the other hand, however, there are concerns relating to the use of some technologies that include the use of automated judgments, digital divide issues, judicial independence, as well as issues linked to privacy and data protection. This article concludes that some caution should be exercised in developing the ‘smart court’ system, primarily in relation to the oversight and introduction of more disruptive technologies to ensure that cheap and quick dispute resolution can be achieved without detrimental impacts on justice.
- Published on 11 Mar 2021
- Peer Reviewed