Chinese courts concluded 15,000 foreign-related civil and commercial cases of first instance in 2018, a work report of the Supreme People’s Court said Tuesday.
The SPC set up international commercial courts in the cities of Shenzhen and Xi’an last year, among other measures, to serve the Belt and Road Initiative and the all-round opening-up, said the report made available to the media.
Citing an example, the report said the Hangzhou Internet Court in last August adjudicated a copyright infringement case and ordered two offending Chinese companies to compensate for the economic loss of British animation “Peppa Pig” character’s copyright owners.
The report will be delivered by Chief Justice Zhou Qiang at a plenary meeting of the ongoing second session of the 13th National People’s Congress Tuesday morning.
More cases handled
The Supreme People’s Court of China handled 34,794 cases in 2018 and concluded 31,883 cases, up 22.1 percent and 23.5 percent year on year respectively, the work report said.
During the year, courts at local levels handled 28 million cases and concluded 25.168 million cases, increasing by 8.8 percent and 10.6 percent respectively from the previous year, according to the report.
Chinese courts at all levels took strong actions against crimes threatening state security last year, the work report said.
Such crimes included inciting the subversion of state power, inciting the split of the country and espionage, according to the report.
During the year, courts across the country also worked with relevant departments to issue guidelines on busting terrorism and extremism, and punished crimes that involved advocating terrorism and using extremist methods to undermine the implementation of laws, the report says.
Chinese courts at all levels concluded 28,000 graft cases involving embezzlement, bribery and dereliction of duty in 2018, the report said.
These cases involved 33,000 people, including 18 former officials at the provincial-level and above, according to the report available to the news media.
A total of 2,466 people who had offered bribes were convicted last year amid heavier crackdown on such crime.
In 2018, procuratorates around the country prosecuted 32 former officials at the provincial-level and above, including Sun Zhengcai and Wang Sanyun, according to a work report of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
Strengthened judicial protection
Chinese courts at all levels concluded 288,000 cases related to intellectual property rights of first instance in 2018, up 41.8 percent year on year, the report said.
A tribunal for IPR-related cases was set up at the SPC last year to further strengthen the judicial protection of IPR, according to the report available to news media.
More efforts were put into the construction of the intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as 19 tribunals for IPR-related cases to improve the legal environment for technological innovation, it said.
Procuratorates across the country had also strengthened judicial protection of IPR last year, having supervised the handling of 32 major IPR-related cases, according to the work report of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Tuesday.
A total of 8,325 people were prosecuted by procuratorates for criminal acts such as infringement of patent rights and trademark rights in 2018, up by 16.3 percent on a yearly basis, the report said.
Chinese courts at all levels investigated and punished 1,064 court staff for abusing the judging and enforcement power last year, the report said.
A total of 369 court staff were investigated and punished for their behaviors against the spirit of the eight-point regulation on improving Party and government conduct.
Environmental pollution cases
China prosecuted 42,195 people for damaging environment and resources in 2018, up 21 percent year on year, the report said.
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate also led efforts to set standards for handling criminal cases on environmental pollution, says the report made available to the media.
In a separate report, the Supreme People’s Court says courts around the country severely punished crimes of environmental pollution, concluding 2,204 such cases in 2018. About 251,000 cases related to environment and resources were also concluded by courts around the country.
Crackdown on organized crimes
Chinese courts concluded 5,489 cases of organized crime and local mafia in 2018, which involved 29,000 criminals, the report said.
Last year, procuratorates across the country approved the arrest of 73,385 suspects involved in organized crime or local mafia, among whom 61,188 were charged, according to a work report of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.