On 2nd and 3rd February 2021, GIZ and the Supreme People’s Court conducted an online workshop in Beijing on “Application of modern information technology in the justice”. Ten German judges, three officials from the Bavarian Ministry of Justice and a professor from the University of Würzburg, as well as two Chinese judges from the Judicial System Reform Office of the Supreme People’s Court of China, three officials from the International Cooperation department of the Supreme People’s Court of China and two civil servants from the Information Centre of the Supreme People’s Court, two judges from the Beijing Internet Court, two judges from the Shanghai Second Intermediate People’s Court and two judges from the Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court attended the workshop. 11 of the 30 participants were women.
The workshop was opened by Mr. He Fan, Deputy Director-General of the Department for International Cooperation of the Supreme People’s Court and Director-General of the Judicial System Reform Office of the Supreme People’s Court, who welcomed all participants from China and Germany, and Ms. Astrid Baumann, President of the Higher Regional Court of Thuringia, Germany, who spoke on behalf of the German side.
Chaired by Mr. Norbert Feige, Legal Advisor of the GIZ Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme, the participants had a lively exchange on the application of modern information technology in the justice in China and Germany. They discussed the use of electronic files, blockchain technology and artificial intelligence in the justice as well as the legal framework that should apply to the use of modern information technology in the justice. Participants pointed out the similarities and differences, both countries’ urgent need for laws and regulations to match this development.
On 17 June, Deputy Director-General Mr. He Fan attended a press conference at the Supreme People’s Court to promulgate the online procedure rules of the People’s Court of China, which will come into effect on 1 August 2021, as a judicial interpretation that clarifies the “deemed original” validity and review rules for electronic materials such as electronic signatures, and the review criteria for blockchain depositions. It also defines the conditions of application and the scope of content for electronic delivery.