While the overwhelming cases handled by the people's courts at all levels over the past year were civil disputes, such criminal cases as those of underworld in nature, and those involving shooting and explosions increased sharply, said Xiao Yang, President of the Supreme People's Court.
Reporting the work of the Supreme People's Court to the on-going annual session of the Ninth National People's Congress, Xiao Yang said that the sharp increase in the handling of cases of underworld in nature and cases involving shooting and explosions was the result of the implementation of the policy of "dealing heavy blows at criminals".
The chief judge said that the people's courts at all levels and specialized courts handled 5,927,660 cases, of which 12.31 percent were criminal cases, 85.64 percent were civil cases and 2. 05 percent were administrative cases.
He said that the people's courts at all levels handled 1,493 criminal cases involving serious disruption of the market economic order and punished 19,972 criminals, saving the state 2.23 billion yuan of economic losses.
The courts administered justice on 100,440 cases of labor disputes, 33 percent more than in the previous year, giving strong protection to the lawful rights and interests of laborers and ensuring the performance of effective labor contracts.
In addition, the courts handled more than 100,000 administrative cases, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of parties concerned and ensured the execution of specific lawful administrative behavior.
The courts also administered justice on 6,753 cases involving compensation by the state.
In order to correctly apply the revised Marriage Law, the Supreme People's Court worked out principles favorable to protecting the lawful rights and interests of such vulnerable groups as women, old people, children and the party without fault and to production and livelihood of the people and to fostering good social ethics and convention in hearing cases involving marriage and family. The courts at all levels heard and closed 1, 394,677 such cases.
The courts provided judicial assistance to such disadvantaged groups as handicapped by appointing lawyers or agents for them and assisted those who did not have the financial resources to take legal action to protect their rights by exempting, reducing or postponing the cost so as to protect their rights of litigation. For the whole of 2001, the courts provided judicial assistance to 300,000 cases, with 839 million yuan of litigation cost exempted, reduced or postponed.
(People's Daily March 12, 2002)