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May 19 2014

China to Publish All Court Judgments, with Some Privacy Protections

"China 's Supreme People 's Court (SPC) issued a new regulation ""Provisions on the Online Issuance of Judgment Documents by People 's Courts,"" (Provisions), requiring that all court judgments in China be published online in a searchable public database specially set up for that purpose. Under the Provisions, formulated with the aim to ensure the public 's right to information, participation, and supervision relating to judicial proceedings, all judgment documents from People 's Courts at all levels are required to be submitted to relevant authorities for online publication within seven days of their effective date. In addition, the Provisions provide that real names of the parties generally should be retained to meet the needs of public access to information. These rules are formulated to balance the public 's right to know against the protection of personal privacy. In sum, the Provisions indicate a critical improvement in China in terms of both independence and transparency of the judiciary and the protection of personal privacy."