China's Supreme People's Court on Wednesday issued a plan on a pilot program to explore new ways to handle simple civil cases after separating such cases from those 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 parties can submit the litigation and evidence materials via the Internet when they choose to file the lawsuit online. Upon the consent of the addressees, the judgment, order or conciliation statement could also be delivered online, according to the plan.
With the consent of the parties, cases applicable to summary procedure or ordinary procedure may be tried via online video, the plan added.
The pilot program is expected to be carried out in courts at the intermediate and primary levels in cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as three intellectual property courts, the Shanghai Financial Court and three internet courts.
The program started on Wednesday and will last for two years.
The decision to carry out the pilot program was passed at a bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee in December 2019.