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China’s first circuit courts in full operations

Updated: Feb 5,2015 8:07 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Two circuit courts recently inaugurated by China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) have experienced huge demand with staff working full-time to work with visitors filing lawsuits.

The two courts, one in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen opened on Jan 28 and one in Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning province, on Jan 31, aim to bring justice to the doorsteps of ordinary people.

According to an SPC statement, on Feb 2, their first official workday, the Shenzhen court received 79 parties involved in various cases while the Shenyang court interviewed 54 people.

“In order to relieve reception pressure, both courts took immediate actions to send in extra staff to guide visitors and communicate with them,” the statement said, adding that appointments were made via phone with those failing to get a chance to file in their requests.

“Court workers maintained meticulous, elaborate and discreet communications with visitors in a bid to ensure their right to appeal. No disorder was reported at either court,” it added.

The establishment of the circuit courts, seen as a crucial step in China’s judicial reform, aimed to help the public file cases in local communities and get their disputes solved more quickly and locally. They will also free up the SPC headquarters to concentrate on judicial policies and try more complex cases.

The two courts, whose locations were chosen for the two regions’ advanced economic status and greater demands for judicial trials, will primarily handle major administrative, civil and commercial cases filed locally and from neighboring regions.