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Judge pledges transparency in courts

China Daily

Courts in Guangdong province will explore ways to make court proceedings more transparent to the public, said Zheng E, the top judge of Guangdong High People's Court.

Measures include more investment in building an Internet network to publish verdicts and broadcast some major cases, Zheng said.

The Guangdong court also published a white paper in February on how it handled a number of high-profile cases in 2012.

According to the white paper, courts in Guangdong will start to publish all court verdicts online in the months ahead. Media and the public will be able to check court verdicts on the Internet and by phone.

According to Zheng, more than half of courts in Guangdong have established websites.

"We will work with government authorities at different levels to push the establishment of more court websites, which have proved an important channel to improve judicial transparency," Zheng said.

"The publication of verdicts and broadcasting major cases will help advance judicial reforms and bring court trials under greater public supervision," Zheng told China Daily.

The provincial high people's court started broadcasting live updates via its official micro blog on the iPad trademark dispute between US tech giant Apple Inc and Shenzhen Proview in February 2012, attracting a great deal of attention from the media and the public.

"Before the trial, some people, especially foreigners, were worried about the transparency and fairness of the case, which had a great impact on trade between China and the United States," Zheng said.

"We dealt with the trial very seriously. The only effective way to clear the doubts was to open the trial process," Zheng added.

According to Zheng, more major cases will be broadcast live online and even on television in the future.

Thanks to improvement of judicial transparency, complaints and appeals related to trials in the Guangdong decreased by 9.6 percent last year, sources with the provincial high people's court said.

qiuquanlin@chinadaily.com.cn