Online platform facilitates legal work

Updated: 2016-02-16 07:47

By Zhou Wenting(China Daily)

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Online platform facilitates legal work

A gavel in a court. [Photo/IC]

A pioneering Internet platform that allows lawyers to file cases and pay legal fees online has been embraced by Shanghai's lawyers.

More than 1,300 of the city's 1,413 law firms have used the website,, since its launch in January last year, filing appeals, submitting and receiving legal material, communicating with judges and opening more than 13,000 cases.

The real advantage of Shanghai's system is the online payment function, setting it apart from the websites adopted by other courts in China, according to Cao Hongxing, director of the information management division of the Shanghai High People's Court.

"Among all such platforms developed by courts all over China, this is the only one allowing lawyers to fully complete the procedure of initiating lawsuits, and the first to have functions extending to the whole process-from litigation to case tracking and implementation," he said.

The biggest problem with instigating an online payment system was establishing the "string of links that need to be dealt with" between banks, lawyers, litigants and the courts, Cao said.

"But the Shanghai court solved this problem. Now a notification of payment will be generated by the system automatically and the lawyer can make the payment online after litigation materials have been submitted and put on file by a judge. In this way, lawyers can file a lawsuit at home, from the office, or even while on a business trip," he said.

Every registered lawyer in the city holds a professional ID card, which not only allows them to log on to the website, but means their activities can be traced, the court said.

The platform has also been made available to lawyers from Shenzhen and Guangzhou, who can use their local professional ID cards, while legal professionals from other areas are only granted access after verification of their identity.

Huang Jiayong, a lawyer from Shanghai Yingtai Law Firm, welcomed the move.

"We used to shuttle back and forth from court and wait in line again and again to hand over material, apply for litigation, make payments and exchange evidence. But with this platform, all that takes just 10 minutes or so," he said.

Meanwhile, Huang Yi, vice-president of the Shanghai Bar Association, said the platform was just one of the many ways that the working environment of lawyers was improving in the city.