Futian District People’s Court Opens its Doors to Expats

Futian District People’s Court Opens its Doors to ExpatsFutian District People’s Court will open its doors to expats in Shenzhen and residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan for the first time in its history later this month.

The court’s Open Day will be held June 29, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The event will feature a guided tour of the litigation service center, courtrooms and other areas usually reserved for court staff. Visitors can ask questions of experienced court staff along the way.

The two-hour event will also feature observation of Chinese court procedures and a panel discussion of legal affairs.

Entry and parking are free of charge, but advance booking is required. Due to limited parking spaces, visitors are encouraged to take the bus or Metro. Visitors are not allowed to take photos.

The Open Day aims to improve the public’s understanding of courtroom work through face-to-face contact with judges, and to provide expats and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents with an opportunity to get a firsthand look behind the scenes of the local justice system.

The event is also part of the Futian court’s efforts to further implement the concept of “justice for the people.”

Visitors must be at least 18 years old and can apply for a spot by visiting the Futian court’s official Web site, www.ftcourt.gov.cn, and downloading an application form. Completed forms can be e-mailed to ftfylat@163.com or faxed to 0755-8291-8522. Interested parties can also apply by calling Ms. Zhang at 0755-8292-5813 or Ms. Wang at 0755-8292-8107. English service is available.

The application deadline is June 26.

To avoid affecting the court’s normal work order, only 20 spots will be made available. Applicants will be selected on a first-come-first-served basis, following a qualification check. Results of the selection will be announced before June 27. Selected visitors will be notified by phone.

Futian District People’s Court was established in 1990. Shangbu Courthouse, established by Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court in 1983, was its predecessor.

In recent years, the Futian court has handled an increasing number of cases involving foreign citizens and residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The number of such cases increased from 190 in 2009 to 390 last year, signalling the overseas citizens’ ever-increasing need of judicial assistance. The hike also showed that overseas citizens are positive about the quality of court hearings conducted at the Futian court.

Located in downtown Shenzhen, the Futian court has been committed since its inception to serving people from different countries and regions, along with locals, through impartial, authoritative and efficient judicial services, thereby creating favorable working and living conditions for local residents.

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