China's chief justice Xiao Yang said Sunday that courts at all levels should deal with people's lawsuits "more efficiently" in a new move to promote "justice for the people".
Xiao, president of the Supreme People's Court, spoke at a symposium attended by presidents from higher courts across the country.
"By no means should 'justice for the people' be treated simply as a slogan," Xiao said, urging courts to let people have their fair judgments "as quickly as possible".
Xiao admitted that courts in China are now under fierce criticism from the public as they failed to adjust quickly to new circumstances under which China's market economy is more developed, especially after its accession to the World Trade Organization.
He warned that corrupt judges accepting bribes and attorneys who are negligent would face severe punishment.
Courts across China hear more than six million cases every year but many were outside the time period set by the Supreme People's Court, according to the court's statistics.
"Curbing judicial injustice and improving trial efficiency should be our starting point to safeguard 'justice for the people'," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 24, 2003)