Publication
Title
Fairness and justice through automation in China's smart courts
Author
Abstract
Xi Jinping's judicial reforms have placed the concepts of ‘fairness’ and ‘justice’ at the forefront, coinciding with the integration of information technology and AI into all aspects of China's court system through smart court reform. According to official Chinese discourse, smart court reform is supposed to make the justice system ‘fairer’. However, research has not yet clearly established how ‘fairness’ and automation are connected in the Chinese context. This article is interested in how smart court and automation fit into Chinese interpretations of ‘fairness’. Therefore, we ask what notions of ‘fairness’ drive and justify smart court reform? The main argument is that SCR allegedly reinforces elements of procedural fairness, i.e., internal accountability, external visibility, and due process in a way that they are conducive to substantive goals of legitimation, social stability, and user convenience. Most noteworthy, there is a strong emphasis on procedural consistency. This article conducts a systematic qualitative analysis of the foundational texts and discourse about smart courts in China, such as judicial policy documents, development and reform plans, white papers, and regulations. In our analysis we find that smart courts promote procedural and substantive components of ‘fairness’ that strengthen legal rationality while keeping open channels of control. Our findings help explain the rapid embrace of automation and technology in China's justice administration: they fit perfectly within the ruling party's worldview and perpetuate it in turn.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Computer law and security review
Publication
2023
ISSN
0267-3649
DOI
10.1016/J.CLSR.2023.105897
Volume/pages
51 (2023) , p. 1-13
Article Reference
105897
ISI
001112029800001
Medium
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Law 
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 24.10.2023
Last edited 25.04.2024
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