Grass-roots courts a success in rural Hainan

BEIJING: Hailed as an innovative way to promote rule of law, special circuit courts have been established in South China’s Hainan Province to handle grass-roots cases in recent years, People’s Daily reported on March 5.
These grass-roots courts, such as circuit courts in rural areas and night courts that aim to help agricultural workers resolve disputes, have proven to be popular.
Yu Yonghua, a deputy from Hainan provincial delegation of the Third Session of the 12th National People’s Congress, described on March 4 how a people’s court in Xinglong county had helped a brother and sister resolve an inheritance dispute.
After intense mediation, the sister finally agreed to pay 8,000 yuan ($1,279) to her brother, who asked for a share of the areca palm trees and pension offered by the government after their mother died.
“Although just a small case, it was well received. If grass-roots courts are judicial and fair, people will not resort to petitioning or appealing to higher government,” said Yu, who is also a worker from Xinglong Overseas Chinese Farm in Wanning, Hainan Province.
To accommodate the province’s booming tourism industry, Hainan also established circuit courts in scenic spots in 2002 to resolve tourist disputes, according to Yu.