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Beijing's Olympic village court opens
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The Olympic Games Village People's Local Court, the only law facility bearing the Olympic title in the country, opened on Wednesday.

Located in the Olympic Village in the city's northeast, the building is named in accordance with the Supreme People's Court's rule that courts should be named for their location.

During the Games, about 70 percent of cases related to the Olympics will be heard in the building, which is the seventh commissary court of Chaoyang District People's Court. The district is home to most of the Games' venues.

The new court will mainly hear civil cases, such as those for house rental, labor disputes and personal injury. Also handled here are cases for foreigners' personal injury, property damage and labor dispute caused by activities of the Games, tourism, accommodations, shopping, transport, dining and entertainment, said Qian Yixin, the court's chief judge.

The court was established in June 2007 and had operated nearby in a contemporary office near the compound built for the Asian Games Village in 1990.

Its new location is less than one km away from the apartments of the Olympic athletes in the east, facing the Badaling Expressway in the west. The new court is equipped with 11 courtrooms -- seven small-sized, three middle-sized and one large.

Covering a judicial area of 57.22 square km, the court's territory includes the Bird's Nest, the Water Cube, the Olympic Green, the Olympic Village and many hotels, among others.

Most of the Olympic-related civil cases would be heard here, including many related to foreign affairs. To better help the procedures, all guides and signs are in both Chinese and English, Qian said.

A Foreign-Interests-Related Courtroom with a 27-seat gallery is one of its features. It is installed with a three-track simultaneous interpretation system.

Except cases related to national secrets, all proceedings would be open according to the country's laws, Qian said. In total, the 11 courtrooms have seating for 247 people, she added.

The Accessible Courtroom also provides facilities and toilets for the disabled.

Since 2007, the Olympic Village Court had heard 4,772 cases, more than 90 percent of which had been resolved, said Zhang Wen, the People's Court of Chaoyang District deputy president.

As of June, the court had receive 20 cases related to the Olympics, 15 of which had been completed, she said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2008)

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