Taiwan liticustom wristbands incgants to be aided in lawsuits
Mainland courts are pledging to improve cross-Straits judicial exchanges, ensure equal protection for Taiwan litigants and offer them better legal services in hearings of Taiwan-related cases.
The Supreme People"s Court issued a 36-point guideline on Tuesday in which it highlighted the significance of guaranteeing Taiwan litigants" rights, and ordered all mainland courts to help solve their legal difficulties across the board, from case filing to hearing and final verdict delivery.
It was the first time for the top court to issue such a comprehensive guideline to safeguard rights of Taiwan residents and its first rule for deepening cross-Straits development by regulating legal services.
"We hope the document will not only help courts on the mainland effectively process the increasing number of cases involving Taiwan individuals or enterprises but also prompt economic and cultural exchanges," said Jiang Qibo, director of the top court"s research office.
The guideline was created following a keynote speech by President Xi Jinping at a gathering in January to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan, he said.
In the guideline, mainland courts were told to strengthen property protections of Taiwan people and enterprises to ensure a favorable environment when they create a startup or make an investment in the mainland.
Zhou Jiahai, deputy director of the research office, said that when a litigant from Taiwan is found to be at fault, "We should be prudent and minimize the negative effects on their businesses when considering sealing up or freezing their property or barring them from leaving the mainland."
When a Taiwan litigant is detained or monitored on the mainland, courts are required to inform family members within 24 hours, the guideline said.
Jiang, the director, said, "Specifying legal measures to regulate the handling of Taiwan-related cases is necessary because such disputes have been rising in mainland courts in the past decade."
Figures released by the top court on Tuesday showed that more than 5,000 cases were filed annually on average in mainland courts involving litigants from Taiwan from 2008 to 2018, with the peak reaching 7,000 in 2012.
To more efficiently resolve the disputes, the guideline ordered mainland courts, especially those handling a large number of such cases in Fujian, Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces, to set up a special website, hotline or social media account and establish a judge liaison office to provide high-quality legal services to Taiwan litigants.
"We welcome Taiwan residents from all walks of life, including legal professionals, to visit mainland courts and exchange judicial opinions," Zhou said. "Also, a communication platform or internship opportunities will be offered to Taiwan youth who study on the mainland."
The top court added it would go to grassroots courts on the mainland to check on enforcement of the guideline and ensure Taiwan litigants know about it.
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