Northwest China’s Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Brings Judicial Services to People | Kathmandu Grandstand
By Fu Wen, People’s Daily
In order to facilitate rural people’s access to judicial services and popularize legal knowledge among villagers, courts at different levels in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Gansu Province, have heard cases locally and set up offices in villages and communities to provide people with legal services, including counselling, court mediation and legal aid.
Thanks to the effort to bring the judicial and legal services closer to the citizens, the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gannan has seen its number of cases handled by the judicial authorities as well as the rate of elucidation, the rate of mediation and the rate of discontinued cases increase while the rate of appeals and the number of public complaints have dropped over the past three years.
TseringA shepherd from Shimen Township, Lintan County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, greatly benefited from the practical local hearing mechanism.
On a rainy night in October 2020, Tsering lost two yaks while moving to another pasture. In July last year, he accidentally found the two missing yaks in the herd of Tashi, another local shepherd. After Tashi refused to return the yaks, Tsering called the police, who however struggled to find out the truth as it had been too long since the yaks had been lost.
Tsering then filed a lawsuit against Tashi, which was dismissed at first instance for lack of witnesses and concrete evidence. After that, Tsering appealed to the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Intermediate People’s Court.
“One of the two yaks was an adult and the other was young when they moved away from the herd,” said Mou Siqiong, a judge at the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Intermediate People’s Court, which handled the civil case. .
Since they had been raised elsewhere for almost a year, it was not easy to recognize them, especially the young one, according to Mou.
After meticulous field investigations, Mou found a key witness: a veterinarian who had examined the young yak’s teeth. Given its complexity, Mou decided to hear the case on the pasture.
Last winter, Mou, accompanied by a clerk and two bailiffs from the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Intermediate People’s Court, walked in the freezing cold for more than three hours to the village where Tsering lives to hear his case. . The ushers asked Tsering and the vet to separately identify the lost young yak from Tashi’s herd, and their choices were exactly the same. Eventually, Tashi admitted his guilt and returned the lost yaks to Tsering.
In the past, the two parties in such cases had to go back and forth between the court located in the urban area of the prefecture and their homes until their cases were settled.
“It is not easy for herdsmen living in the grasslands to move between the court and their homes,” Mou said, adding that now that judges hear cases locally, these people no longer need to do long journeys for legal services.
Recently, Mou received a message from Tsering saying that the female yak rescued with the help of the Intermediate People’s Court of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture gave birth to a calf.
Since most parts of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture are sparsely populated mountainous areas with complex geographical conditions and poor traffic conditions, local courts at different levels have made great efforts to free people from the problems of travel while seeking legal services.
Instead of asking people to go to court, court officials have been “bringing the courts to the people” by hearing cases in the pastures and at people’s doorsteps, enabling local residents to benefit from prompt litigation services, practical and very efficient and helping to save their time, energy and cost.
Yang Xiaogang, a resident of Liushun Township, Lintan County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, who overturned his car while driving under the influence, also experienced first-hand the convenience of local hearings.
Since Yang underwent two operations during the period of obtaining the surety and awaiting trial and had difficulty moving around, the Lintan County People’s Court heard his drunk driving case at his home on June 8, 2021.
Yang did not dispute the facts, charges and sentencing suggestions during the litigation. Court judge Chang Xiufang sentenced Yang to three months in detention and a fine of 1,000 yuan ($158.4) under the country’s fast-track sentencing procedure for criminal cases.
“Hearing cases in people’s homes can both show the rule of law and the tenderness of judges,” said a Lintan County People’s Court official, who revealed that dozens of neighbors de Yang watched the hearing of Yang’s case.
By locally managing court proceedings for people living in remote villages with poor traffic conditions, court officials can achieve the goal of popularizing knowledge of the law among local residents when hearing cases, a Noted the manager.
Courts in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture have also integrated smart technologies into the local court system and set up new mediation platforms that combine online and offline means, with the aim of better serving the people.