Four Years of Beijing Internet Court: Lessons for Pakistan

By Muhammad Asif Noor | Gwadar Pro Apr 18, 2023

Editor's note: The writer is the Founder of Friends of BRI Forum. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.


The Beijing Internet Court (CIC) has recently celebrated its fourth anniversary of operation. During that time, it has effectively safeguarded the civil rights of the Chinese citizens through its specialized handling of internet-related cases. BIC's achievements provide valuable lessons for Pakistan, which can learn from the court's experience to enhance its own internet-related safety and security mechanisms.

BIC's success in delivering efficient and accessible justice services has been widely recognized, as it has managed to fill many gaps in the traditional justice system, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The court's unique digital platform has allowed for cost-effective, swift, and eco-friendly dispute resolution, making it a leading model of internet-based justice systems globally.

Since September 2018, these courts have digitally concluded 150,000 cases. The courts took all applications online and marked the highest online rate of litigation rates up to 94.54 percent, whereby the service rate of judgment documents remained at 89.8 percent. Additionally, these courts hit the trial rate at 99.9%, and the automatic execution rate of judgment documents was 92.25%. During these years, the average court trial duration was recorded at 35 percent, whereby the total length of a trial period did not extend beyond 76 days on average. 

These courts use blockchain and fintech technologies which have significantly improved the efficiency of litigation payments and case-related money. The average duration of making case-related money has been reduced to 2.15 days. The operation of these courts is entirely contactless and remote as the process of adjudication and litigation is online, providing convenience to both the plaintiff and defendant. It is pertinent to mention that these courts are not part of digital reforms but a component of legal reforms aimed at speedy and transparent justice.  By leveraging technology and adapting to the needs of the digital age, BIC has established itself as a key player in the Chinese legal system and a model for internet courts all around the world.

Legal experts believe that the digitization of the justice system and the introduction of e-justice is required due to large-scale digitization in China. Although it had been a difficult task to set up testing and operationalization of such reform, its relative effectiveness is a success for the judiciary in China. When justice is cheaper and readily available, it becomes convenient for people to pursue their civil rights confidently.

There is another competing factor associated with digital courts. These courts increase awareness and realization of the legal rights of people where the public can join online streaming on matters of their concern. This mode of justice adds transparency, accountability, and practicality to the justice and protection of public liberties and rights. The proceedings are accessible to the public, which provides enough material for learning basic legal standing. 

Pakistan can also benefit from BIC's approach to evidentiary rules and digital forensics, which can enable more effective resolution of disputes involving electronic evidence. By implementing these measures, Pakistan can strengthen its internet-related legal regime, enhance access to justice, and create a more efficient and effective legal system for the digital age.

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