Top Judge Urges Trial Efficiency

President of the Supreme People's Court, Xiao Yang, urged Chinese judges nationwide, while ensuring that justice be done, to enhance trial efficiency and handle cases in due time set by the law, at a national meeting on civil trials which ended Sunday.

"Cases that can be concluded in the remaining days of this year should not be delayed to the 21st century (next year)," he said.

"The people are still not satisfied with some aspects of court work, and the majority of their complaints are centered on injustice and low efficiency in handling civil disputes," Xiao said during the meeting.

"Unfair judgments are a direct violation of the fundamental interests of the people, and low efficiency will also run against their interests since both parties of litigation would be inflicted great losses for engaging too long in the cases," he pointed out.

As the system of market economy is coming into being and the pace for realizing the rule of law sped up in the country, the old practices of mainly relying on administrative orders and moral teachings to solve civil disputes are no longer working. Instead, legal means are becoming more common means for adjusting civil relations.

"Chinese courts should no longer be seen merely as a tool for people's democratic dictatorship, it is playing an ever more important role in settling social conflicts and providing a sound social environment for economic progress," Xiao said.

The top judge pledged that the current civil trial system will be reformed to make it more compatible with China's conditions, the cream of foreign legal systems should be absorbed, judges of higher-level courts will be selected from lower-level courts, and unqualified judges will be dismissed to ensure the judges are morally honest and professionally competent.

Nearly 200 presidents and vice-presidents of the Supreme Court and higher courts, as well as scholars, from across the country attended the four-day meeting.

(Xinhua 10/30/2000)

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