The Online Operation Rules of the People's Courts, as adopted at the 1,861st Session of the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People's Court on December 30, 2021, are hereby promulgated and shall take effect on March 1, 2022.
The Supreme People's Court
January 26, 2022
Online Operation Rules of the People's Courts
The Rules are formulated in accordance with relevant legal provisions and with consideration of actual development of smart courts, for the purpose of supporting and promoting online litigation, online mediation and other judicial activities, optimizing the online operation mechanism of the people's courts, facilitating parties and other participants to attend online litigation, mediation and other activities, and improving the quality and efficiency of trial and enforcement.
I. General Principles
Article 1 The people's courts shall take advantage of information technologies such as the Internet, big data, cloud computing, mobile Internet, artificial intelligence and block chain to improve the smart court information system, standardize application methods, strengthen operation management, meet the diversified judicial needs of the people in an online manner, and efficiently support trial and enforcement activities.
Article 2 The people's courts shall observe the following principles for online operation:
(1) Efficient and convenient for the people. Continue to put the people at the center and provide diversified dispute resolution and litigation services on one website, at one place and with one account to relieve the burden of litigation on the parties involved.
(2) Focusing on effectiveness. Integrate the law of judicial system, institutional reform and technological transformation, improve the information system, standardize application methods, strengthen operation management, and comprehensively support online trial and enforcement activities of the people's courts to ensure the progress of judicial work and improve judicial efficiency.
(3) Overall planning and sharing. Strengthen overall coordination and planning at the top level, give priority to building and using a unified information system for courts nationwide, and continue to promote compatibility and sharing of information infrastructure, application systems and data resources.
(4) Innovation-driven. Implement the “Internet Power” strategy, intensify efforts on research and application of advanced technologies, and keep business processes, litigation rules, and trial models abreast of the times.
(5) Secure and reliable. Collect, store, process and use data in accordance with law, protect State secrets, trade secrets, personal privacy and personal information, and ensure information security in people's courts' online operation.
Article 3 The Rules shall be applicable to the people's courts at all levels in the construction, application, operation and management of information systems to support online judicial activities.
II. System Construction
Article 4 The people's courts shall build smart court information systems including smart service, smart trial, smart enforcement, smart management, judicial openness, judicial data center and smart court brain, information infrastructure, security guarantee, operation and maintenance (O&M) guarantee, etc., to guarantee online operation of the people's courts.
The smart court information systems shall take the judicial data center and the smart court brain as the core to enable data interconnectivity and support business collaborative handling.
Article 5 The smart service system operates on the Internet and securely connects with the special network of the courts to provide online services for the people, such as litigation, mediation, consultation and law popularization, and support the construction of a one-stop diversified dispute resolution and litigation service system.
The smart service system includes online services by the people's courts, electronic litigation platform, mediation platform of the people's courts, litigation service network, 12368 litigation service hotline, electronic document service platform, online preservation system, online appraisal system, etc.
The smart service system shall have functions of litigation guidance, online mediation and roster management, online case-filing, online payment, online evidence exchanges, online entrusted appraisal, online preservation, online court hearing, online enforcement, online case file review, online archive retrieval, online service of documents, online announcement, cross-regional litigation services, etc.
The platform for online services of the people's courts is connected with other platforms of the smart service system as a unified portal for the people's court to provide online services for the people through the Internet.
Article 6 The smart trial system operates on the court special network or e-government network to provide online services for judicial personnel, such as case file review, archive retrieval, hearing, court trial, panel discussion and adjudication assistance, to support the construction of a modern trial system.
The smart trial system includes platforms for trial process management, electronic case file circulation and application, intelligent adjudication assistance, sentencing standardization, speech recognition in court hearing, etc.
The smart trial system shall have functions of case information management, trial period management, synchronized generation and in-depth application of electronic files along with case handling, intelligent notification of referable cases, assisted generation of instruments and assisted sentencing, etc.
Article 7 The smart enforcement system operates on the court special network or e-government network to provide online services for enforcement personnel, such as coordinated enforcement, enforcement information management, person and property search, property disposal and penalty against trust-breaking persons, to support the construction of a modern enforcement work system.
The smart enforcement system includes platforms for enforcement command, process information management of enforcement cases, enforcement inquiry and control, penalty against trust-breaking persons, judicial auctions, management of case bill with one account for each case, mobile enforcement, etc.
The smart enforcement system shall have functions of online handling of enforcement cases for the whole process, analysis of enforcement clues, online investigation and control of enforceable property, release of judicial auction information, online price inquiry, and management of trust-breaking persons subject to enforcement, etc.
Article 8 The smart management system operates on the court special network or e-government network, providing online services for court personnel, such as administrative work, personnel management, trial supervision and archive management, to enable the construction of a modern judicial management system.
The smart management system includes platforms for office, personnel management, trial supervision, e-archives, etc.
The smart management system shall have functions of online document handling, personnel information management, trial supervision, and e-archive management, etc.
Article 9 The judicial openness platform operates on the Internet, providing the parties, other litigation participants and the general public with online public services, such as information related to trial processes, court trial activities, judicial documents information and enforcement work that are disclosed according to the law, to support the construction of an open, dynamic, transparent and convenient judicial mechanism.
The judicial openness platform mainly includes the “China Judicial Process Information Online”, the “China Court Trial Online”, the “China Judgements Online”, the “China Enforcement Information Online”, the “National Enterprise Bankruptcy Information Disclosure Platform”, the “National Court Enforcement Information Online for Commutation, Parole and Temporary Serving Sentence outside Prison”, etc.
The judicial openness platform shall have functions of information disclosure, information retrieval and visualized presentation, etc.
Article 10 The judicial data center and smart court brain operate on the court special network or e-government network, providing data and intelligent services for the smart court information systems, such as smart service, smart trial, smart enforcement, smart management and judicial openness.
The judicial data center and smart court brain include judicial database, data management platform, data exchange platform, data service platform, AI engine, judicial knowledge base, knowledge service platform and judicial blockchain platform, etc.
The judicial data center and the smart court brain shall have functions of data aggregation and governance, sharing and exchange, association and fusion, visualized display, knowledge generation, intelligent computing, decision-making assistance, evidence verification, credible operation and smart contract, etc.
Article 11 The people's courts at all levels shall construct information infrastructure, to provide necessary and basic conditions for supporting online operation of people's courts.
Information infrastructure includes communication network, computational storage, general terminal equipment and special facilities in important places such as the information management center, the enforcement command center, the litigation service hall and the e-courtroom.
Information infrastructure shall offer services such as computing operation, data storage, communication transmission and display control, to secure various application systems, data resources and O&M.
Article 12 The people's courts at all levels shall establish a security guarantee system to ensure network and information security when operating online.
The security guarantee system shall include identity authentication platform, border protection system, security isolation and exchange system, authority management system, security control system and security O&M system, etc.
The security guarantee system shall provide security services for various categories of information infrastructure, applications and data resources, such as host security, identity authentication, access control, classification and grading, password encryption, firewall, security audit and security management.
Article 13 The people's courts at all levels shall establish an O&M support system to secure O&M when operating online.
The O&M support system includes platforms for quality and efficiency-based O&M services, visualized management, operation quality and efficiency reporting and emergency management, etc.
The O&M support system shall provide O&M guarantee services for information infrastructure, applications, data resources and the security guarantee system, including operation, maintenance, and operation quality and efficiency analysis, etc.
III. Methods of Application
Article 14 Where the parties and other participants attend online mediation or online litigation via the smart service system, they shall first register and complete identity authentication, and then obtain a special account for logging into the smart service system.
The registration of the same user in the smart service system shall mainly use personal identity authentication and real-name registration, and the same registration and identity authentication information shall be used to the greatest extent.
The smart service system shall connect with the household registration management system of the public security organ to enable verification of user identity authentication information, and to support unified management and shared application of user information.
Article 15 After completing the registration on a corresponding platform under the smart service system, the parties and other participants may log in online and go through the identity authentication, and then attend online mediation or litigation by relating relevant cases.
Article 16 The parties and other participants may use the mediation platform of the people's court to carry out online mediation, make an online application, accept, reject or terminate mediation, and obtain online mediation guidance and other services.
The people's courts, via mediation platforms of the people's courts (or other platforms), supports the people's court, the parties concerned, online mediation agencies and mediators to have online mediation by computers and mobile devices, allows online pre-mediation settlement discussions, selection and designation of mediation agencies and mediators, audio and video mediation, generation of mediation agreements, and application for judicial confirmation or issurance of mediation documents, etc., supports online connection between litigation and non-litigation processes and between litigation and mediation, and saves all audio, video and text materials in the mediation process.
The people's courts, mediation agencies and mediators may manage the information of relevant organizations and personnel online through the mediation platforms of the people's courts and other platforms.
Article 17 The parties and their agents may submit case-filing application online through platforms such as online services of the people's courts, electronic litigation and litigation service network.
The people's court may connect the smart trial system with the smart service system to process applications for case-filing and give feedback online.
Article 18 The parties and their agents may check litigation fees related to their cases online through online services of the people's courts, electronic litigation platform, mediation platform of the people's courts, litigation service network and other platforms and make payment online via the online payment portal.
The people's courts may send payment notices and check payment status online through the smart trial and smart enforcement systems connecting with the smart service system.
Article 19 The parties and their agents may fill in or submit relevant documents electronically through the online services of the people's court, electronic litigation platform, mediation platform of the people's court, litigation service network and other platforms. Information provided shall comply with format, style, standard and clarity required for corresponding documents as notified on the platforms.
Article 20 Electronic documents submitted online in the smart service system, if up to the requirement, are automatically incorporated into electronic case files and transmitted to the smart trial, enforcement and management systems for circulation and usage.
For case materials submitted offline, the people's court shall generate electronic documents meeting the requirements synchronously along with the case by scanning, copying, transcribing and other means in a timely manner, so as to form electronic case files.
Electronic case files are circulated with the case for usage via the smart trial and enforcement systems, which can be used for case file review, panel discussion, court hearing, judicial committee discussion, inter-court transfer, etc.
Electronic files can be used in an intelligent manner by the people's court, including digitalization of documents, retrieval of case information, assisted document generation and automatic archiving of case files.
Article 21 Via corresponding platforms under the smart service system and the judicial blockchain, the people's court may verify relevant electronic documents, data and other evidentiary materials submitted by the parties through the blockchain platform.
Article 22 The parties and their agents may be informed of corresponding platform portals, communication bandwidth, display resolution and other technical requirements through the online service of the people's courts, electronic litigation platform, litigation service network and other platforms, to engage in online evidence exchange, online evidence presentation and cross-examination.
Article 23 Through platforms for smart service, smart trial, smart enforcement and judicial blockchain, etc., the people's courts may identify and reproduce the authenticity, legality and relevance of the evidential materials presented and cross-examined online by the parties and their agents.
Article 24 The parties and their agents may apply for online case file review and online archive inquiry through the smart service system.
The people's court may provide the parties and their agents with access to case files and archives online by transferring related case files and archives from the smart trial, enforcement and management systems to the smart service system in accordance with relevant regulations.
Article 25 The people's court, the parties and their agents, witnesses, expert witnesses and other participants may, through online services of the people's court, electronic litigation platform, litigation service network and other platforms, have online video court hearings and engage in court activities online, including pre-trial preparation, court investigation, court debate, audio transcription and written record signing through the e-courtroom, computer and mobile devices according to relevant technical requirements. The people's court shall save audio, video and written materials in the court trial according to relevant regulations.
Article 26 For service of judicial documents, the recipients may refer to, accept, download and sign for relevant documents being served online via the online services of the people's court, the document service platform of the people's court, the litigation service network, the “China Judicial Process Information Online” and other platforms.
The people's court may connect the smart trial and enforcement systems with the document service platform of the people's court and record e-mails, instant messaging accounts, special accounts on litigation platforms and other electronic addresses of parties involved to carry out online service and accept service receipts according to relevant regulations, to make sure the whole process of the online service is traceable, and the service receipt is recorded and saved.
Article 27 The parties and their agents may apply for preservation, submit or supplement application information and materials, pay preservation fee, or apply for canceling, extending and reviewing preservation to the court with jurisdiction via online services of the people's court, online preservation and other platforms.
The parties and their agents may apply for guarantee to a third-party guarantee agency online, and pay for the guarantee if the application is approved, and cancel or alter the guarantee online, etc. via online services of the people's court, online preservation and other platforms.
After the party concerned has paid for the guarantee, the third-party guarantee agency may issue an electronic letter of guarantee online, which can be viewed online and downloaded by the party and its agent.
By connecting the smart trial and enforcement systems with the smart service system, the people's court may review the preservation and handle follow-up affairs online.
Article 28 By connecting the smart trial and enforcement systems with the smart service system, the people's court may initiate entrusted appraisal, select appraisal agency and transfer appraisal documents online ex officio or by application of the parties concerned.
Through the online service, online appraisal and other platforms of people's court, appraisal agencies may accept entrusted tasks, review appraisal samples and issue appraisal opinions or reports online. Appraisal applicants may view appraisal opinions or reports, raise an objection or apply for court appearance online; and the people's court may review and respond to objections or applications for court appearance online.
Article 29 The parties and their agents may contact the people's court through the online service of the people's court, 12368 litigation service hotline, litigation service network, the mediation platform of the people's court and other platforms to consult and inquire online about case mediation, trial, enforcement, case file review, archive retrieval, complaints, service of documents and making an appointment for matters to be handled.
Article 30 The smart trial system enables synchronous generation and in-depth application of electronic case files along with case handling, allows intelligent catalog of electronic case files, automatic information backfilling, online review and approval, one-click archiving, review, transfer and consulting of appellate cases online, and makes the whole process of case handling, including case accepting and allocating, court trial, panel discussion, judgment, case concluding and archiving, all completed online. By connecting with the judicial data center and the smart court brain, it performs the function of smart assistance, including case data service, intelligent case analysis, precise notification of referable cases, assisted generation of documents, etc. It also enables case information sharing and business coordination within a court, among courts and among courts and collaborative agencies according to the law and as required.
Article 31 The smart enforcement system enables the entire process of enforcement cases to be handled online by the people's court, with enforcement activities traceable for the whole course and under monitoring on all fronts and at all levels. It allows online taking of enforcement measures, such as property check and control, price enquiry and assessment, auctions and sales, granting case bills, and imposing punishment against trust-breaking behaviors.
Article 32 The people's court may collect, save, retrieve and use electronic archives online according to laws and regulations on archives through the electronic archive management information system.
Article 33 The parties and their agents may, on a voluntary and reasonable basis, transfer litigation, mediation and other procedure from online to offline and vice versa in accordance with the law. When operating online, the people's court allows some participants engage in litigation, mediation and other activities online, while others offline.
If litigation and mediation are carried out offline, the people's court shall timely digitalize relevant case materials and upload them to the relevant information system of the smart court for management.
IV. Operation and Management
Article 34 The people's courts at all levels shall decide the level of security protection for the smart court information system in accordance with information protection rating requirements, institutionalize security management and operating procedures, designate the persons responsible for network security, and fulfill the responsibility for network security protection.
The people's courts at all levels shall prevent computer viruses and activities that endanger network security such as network attacks and network intrusion through a security supporting system, enable cross-network information interconnectivity while preventing inter-network offenses such as malicious invasion, illegal logging in and data theft through a security isolation and exchange platform, monitor, record and save the operation status of the information system and network security incidents, strengthen operational security of critical information infrastructure, establish and improve a user information protection mechanism, and strengthen monitoring and early warning of network security as well as emergency response capability.
The people's courts at all levels shall develop, test and evaluate security guarantees for the information system and appraise the security of password application in accordance with protection rating standards.
Article 35 The people's courts at all levels shall ensure the safety of data related to the smart court information system for the whole life cycle, and devise systems covering categorized and rated data protection, data security emergency responses and data security review, etc.
The people's courts at all levels shall establish mechanisms for data authority management and acquisition, analysis, research and early warning of data security risk information in relevant information systems through a security guarantee system. By following the principle of “safety, necessity and minimum scope” for data sharing and security control, people's courts shall make sure personal privacy, personal information, trade secrets, confidential business information, trial and enforcement secrets and other data in online litigation, mediation and other judicial activities be kept confidential in accordance with law, and not be disclosed without authorization or leaked to others illegally.
Article 36 The people's courts at all levels shall steer and supervise personal information protection in the process of construction, operation and management of the smart court information system, accept and process complaints and reports concerning personal information protection in online litigation and mediation, regularly carry out evaluations of personal information protection in various information systems and publicize results, and investigate and deal with illegal acts of processing personal information in online litigation and mediation.
The people's courts at all levels shall strengthen the protection of personal information in judicial openness, strictly adhere to the scope of disclosure prescribed by law, disclose relevant information in accordance with law, and support shielding of sensitive personal information and quality control of judicial openness by IT-based means.
Article 37 The people's courts at all levels shall support O&M guarantee for the operation of the smart court information system through the O&M guarantee system by frontline O&M, secondary O&M and operation quality and efficiency analysis, etc. The frontline O&M is mainly responsible for user management, authority distribution, system fault repair and emergency response processing, etc. The secondary O&M is mainly responsible for monitoring and analysis of operational status, as well as quality and efficiency of the information system. The Supreme People's Court and all high people's courts shall regularly carry out analysis of operational quality and efficiency of the smart court information system and provide suggestions for improvement.
Article 38 The people's courts at all levels shall establish and optimize a management system covering the whole life cycle of their information systems, including planning, project establishing, purchasing, building, testing, accepting, applying and evaluating, in order to have overall management on systems and facilities of the smart court information system, such as the main engine, software, storage resources, communication networks, machine rooms and places for special equipment, to support stable operation of the people's courts online.
Article 39 The people's courts at all levels shall establish and optimize a management mechanism for production, gathering, storage, governance, processing, transmission, use, provision and disclosure, etc. of the data related to the online operation of the people's courts, clarify responsibilities for data management, comprehensively improve data quality and enhance the capability for data application.
Article 40 The people's courts at all levels shall formulate emergency plans to timely and effectively deal with such emergencies as power failure, disconnection, technical failure, network attacks, and data security vulnerability that occur during the online operation of the people's courts. When a fault cannot be repaired immediately, the people's courts at all levels shall suspend the provision of relevant services according to the nature of the fault and inform users of the fault in a timely manner till the recovery of the system, and record and save the fault information.
Article 41 The people's courts at all levels shall cooperate with enterprises and universities in accordance with law to promote the construction, operation and maintenance of the smart court information system, support, organize and supervise partner agencies to perform their duties according to legal provisions and contractual terms, strictly manage entry and exit, on-site tasks, work, training, safety, confidentiality, anti-corruption and turnover of personnel of partner agencies, and prevent partner agencies from altering, keeping, using, leaking or disclosing relevant work information without authorization by taking advantage of their positions in the work.
Article 42 The people's courts at all levels shall give priority to promoting the usage of the unified information system for courts nationwide, and encourage local courts to connect their self-developed systems with the corresponding national unified system.
Article 43 The people's courts shall strengthen on-demand docking and online business coordination with relevant external information systems on the premise of meeting the security requirements.
Article 44 The people's courts at all levels shall actively publicize the great significance of the construction of smart courts by various channels, promote and popularize the use of relevant platforms under the smart court information system, provide training and consultancy as well as application practices when necessary targeted at all types of users, establish a mechanism for user satisfaction evaluation, tracking, feedback and improvement, and constantly improve the online operation efficiency of the people's courts.
V. Supplementary Provision
Article 45 The Rules shall come into force since March 1, 2022.
*The original text is Chinese and has been translated into English for reference only. If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the Chinese version and the English version, the Chinese version shall prevail.