Shanghai court uses blockchain to record hearings

China has been a pioneer in the use of blockchain technology in the judicial system. Its smart courts, which rely on blockchain and artificial intelligence have been a huge success. The latest project is in Shanghai where a local court is now using blockchain to record hearings.

According to a local report, the Minhang District People’s Court pioneered the use of blockchain to record hearings. It claims that the project came to light recently in a forum held by the Shanghai high court on judicial reforms. The Minhang court recorded an equity transfer contract dispute on the blockchain platform.

The report states, “The metadata table which records the file name, file size, file generation time and other information of the court record files and written materials is generated instantly.”

In the equity transfer contract dispute, the judge instructed the parties to sign and confirm the metadata before submission. After about a minute, “the audio-visual conversion record, the metadata table confirmed by the parties’ signature and other materials were completely presented in the “electronic file” of the case.”

China has cemented its position as the pioneer in the use of blockchain in the judicial system. Last year, its smart courts settled over 3 million cases between March and October. The smart courts rely on blockchain technology and AI, allowing disputes to be settled digitally. As of December last year, the smart courts had 1.1 million registered users and 73,000 lawyers.

China also recognizes blockchain evidence as legally binding. The country’s Supreme Court made its ruling on the validity of blockchain evidence back in 2018. According to the ruling, Chinese courts must accept digital data “collected and stored via blockchain with digital signatures, reliable timestamps and hash value verification.”

China’s neighbor Japan has also been working on integrating blockchain into its courts. As CoinGeek reported in April, a group of researchers in Japan have been working on the project which will mostly target civil disputes.

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