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UN Human Rights Forum: Experts share judicial experience in promoting democracy
November 18,2021   By:CGTN
Nov. 18, 2021 -- At a recent UN forum, experts discussed ways in which equal access to justice is necessary for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Some Chinese scholars who joined the forum gave insights into China's judicial system. Yang Shanshan has the story.
 
Professor Zhai Guoqiang is considered an expert on China's constitution.
 
At the third session of the United Nations' Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, he spoke of China's judicial reforms and how digitization has helped improve people's access to justice.
 
ZHAI GUOQIANG Deputy Director, Institute of International Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences "China has three very special courts, namely the internet courts in Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou. If you want to go to the internet court to file a case, you can do it online. You can download all judgements there. You don't need to go to the actual court. This example of the internet court is a typical way of promoting democracy in China."
 
Professor Zhai believes democracy is a shared value, but one that differs from state to state. He says the different interpretations often lead to mistrust and discord among countries, and that this has become more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, with restrictions to movement and gatherings.
 
Other experts say dialogue is crucial to establishing and rebuilding trust.
 
ZHANG QI Assistant Research Fellow, Shanghai Institute of American Studies "I think judicial authorities, universities, think tanks and law firms in China should be encouraged to conduct seminars and exchanges to discuss and share theories and best practices with relevant personnel from other countries, especially on judicial problems caused by transnational crime, climate change, public health and other issues. Because all these problems are new challenges for everyone. They can't be solved by one country. We need cooperation among countries to deal with them."
 
YANG SHANSHAN Beijing "Due to the pandemic, many participants can't travel to Geneva, so they are contributing online. But this doesn't make them any less passionate about the topics. Many Chinese scholars are calling for more international judicial cooperation. They say to achieve this, countries should respect others' cultures and political systems, seek common ground rather than impose their own standards on others. Yang Shanshan, CGTN, Beijing."
 

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