Things are changing very quickly across the world, especially when it comes to blockchain technology. In the public and private sectors of many countries, they are now taking advantage of blockchain technology and using it for their own benefit. A good example is China.

Chinese smart courts are now using innovative methods to help them deal with millions of cases quickly and within a short period of time. These courts are exploiting innovations in technology to make it easy for them to handle their cases. The technologies being used include AI (artificial intelligence) and blockchain.

According to a report that was released on the 5th of December this year, by Chinese news agency Xinhua, it revealed that more than 3.1 million litigation cases in China, during the period from March and October of 2019, were actually heard and settled through AI and blockchain-powered smart Internet courts.

AI-Powered Judges – Is This the Future?

In these futuristic like ‘smart courts’, citizens are able to communicate with judges without having to be physically present in the courthouse. This is made possible by the use of virtual and AI-powered judges, which can be viewed through multiple screens. It is a move that is making court matters much simpler and more convenient for citizens. To top it off, citizens no longer need to be present at the court to receive a court decision. This can now be done with the help of text messages or other messaging services.

The first smart internet court in the world was introduced in Hangzhou, China, in 2017. Ever since then, the Chinese government has been working on launching several others in major cities, with smart courts now also available in Guangzhou and Beijing. All the new smart courts being launched are also making use of both blockchain and AI technology in rendering judgments. As Zhang Wen, the president of the Beijing Internet Court explained, the purpose of the smart Internet courts is efficiency over accuracy. At the end of the day, to achieve a fair ruling, a human judge is still required. Zhan, however, believes that these judges will soon be replaced with AI judges. 

According to a report released by the Supreme People’s Court, over one million citizens have already registered with these smart courts. In addition, there are over 73,200 lawyers who have also already been registered as part of the smart court program.

Blockchain Legally Authenticates Evidence

It is very clear that blockchain is becoming part of life for many people and China is leading the way by using this technology to boost the efficiency of its legal system.

To show just how blockchain has been incorporated into everyday life in China, in September of 2018, the Supreme Court in China ruled that authenticated evidence with blockchain technology was binding in legal disputes. As a result, the Supreme Court declared that smart courts are required to recognize digital data whenever it is submitted as evidence. This data then needs to be stored through the use of blockchain technology with the relevant digital signatures. In addition, this data needs to include reliable timestamps and it must be hash value verified. If it is delivered through some digital deposition channel, and there is a way of proving the authenticity of the technology used, then it will be allowed to be used in court.

Thanks to blockchain, the ability to securely process legal cases with the use of this technology is quickly becoming a reality. By the incorporation of blockchain in smart courts, China has been successful in solving so many cases within a short time as compared to the traditional methods. The big question is, will other countries start to adopt the same technologies in their courts?


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