China makes headway in boosting efficiency of civil litigation

File photo shows the Supreme People's Court in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua)

BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) – China has made significant progress in boosting the efficiency of civil litigation through its new pilot program, according to a report to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Thursday.

Over 25 percent of the simple civil cases accepted by the pilot courts in 20 prefecture-level cities during the first three quarters of this year were settled through mediation before litigation, said the report on improving civil adjudication to ensure sustained and healthy economic and social development .

More than 57 percent of cases were concluded in about 51 days on average through the summary procedure, just half of the legal time limit of trials, according to the report.

The Supreme People’s Court initiated a pilot program in January to explore new ways to handle simple civil cases, after separating such cases from more complicated ones.

According to the plan, selected courts can expand the scope of mediation agreements eligible for judicial confirmation, raise the threshold for small-claims cases, apply the summary procedure and the sole-judge system to more cases, and improve the rules for online trials, without changing the current civil procedure law.

The pilot program will last for two years.  ■