The Rise of Smart Courts in China
Opportunities and Challenges to the Judiciary in a Digital Age
Information and communication technology has increasingly played an important role in judicial activities. In recent years, digitalization of courts has been explored actively in theory and practice in China. Generally, digitalization of courts refers to that litigation activities like case-filing, court trial, execution, service and preservation can be carried out online to a certain degree, with the help of modern technology like big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and high-tech equipment. Digitalization of courts is considered to help to improve judicial efficiency, contribute to judicial disclosures, provide convenience for people and to establish judicial big data. However, lack of consistent guidelines might undermine the application of digital means in the judiciary. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the progress made so far with regard to digitalization of courts in China, and to analyze the opportunities and challenges during the digitalized process of Chinese courts.
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