2008 Beijing Olympic Games

A court house for the Olympics

Court TV.jpg
Like KTV, but with jail sentences!

The Olympic Village People's Court is a Beijing court soecially set up to deal with Olympic legal issues.

The Olympic Village People's Court moved out of its temporary location in Yayuncun and into snazzy new digs between the Athletes' Village and the Badaling Expressway today.

The court is the seventh commissary court of the Chaoyang District People's Court, and—as may be seen in the pictures at left and below—is totally sweet, with flat-panel TVs, touch-screen information systems, and a plaster wall covered with different versions of the character 法 (law) that reminded your correspondent of the ugliest tie he's ever seen.

The Olympic Village People's Court has heard 4,722 cases since first opening for business in late June of last year, of which it has resolved 4,380. (If this were baseball, the Olympic Village People's Court would be batting 0.93.)

To date, only 20 of those cases have actually been Olympic-related, but 32 year-old presiding judge Qian Yixin is confident that with a 52 square kilometer jurisdiction that covers the Bird's Nest, the Water Cube, the Athletes' Village, the Media Center, and many of the Chaoyang District's foreigner-catering hotels, the court will have plenty more ahead of it.

The court—China's first court to have 'Olympic' in the name, Xinhua informs us—will primarily hear civil cases pertaining to home rentals, labor disputes, property damage and personal injury, as well as disputes specifically caused by Olympic-related tourism, hotel accommodation, and the like.

Thumbnail image for Court TV 2.jpg
Trials to feature color commentary, instant replay

The court has 11 courtrooms, including one handicapped-accessible courtroom and a courtroom for cases involving foreigners that can seat 27 observers and has a three-channel simultaneous interpreting system.

Xinhua's website also shows flat-panel television screens flanking the judge's bench in at least one courtroom—perhaps so that plaintiffs won't have to miss the Games.

All signage is in Chinese and English, and all cases—excepting those involving state secrets—will be fully open in accordance with Chinese law, Qian says. The court will hear approximately 70% of Olympic-related cases during the Games.

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There are currently 6 Comments for A court house for the Olympics.

Comments on A court house for the Olympics

All those people forced out of their homes to make way for the Olympic Village, is this where their compensation lawsuits are being heard? Oh right, Beijing courts were ordered not to accept any cases from disgruntled Olympic forced evictees, although property damage and personal injury would suggest otherwise. Or not?

My Correspondent, can you clue me in on how open the Chinese court system is to foreigners who want to sit in on trials? Any idea what sort of paperwork is involved, if any?

i had wondered to myself the other day after reading Danwei's "Securolympics" post whether the capital had invested in the expansion and/or upgrading of its prison facilities in the run-up to the Games.

it would be odd if the capital failed to either (a) expand its short-term detention facilities in order to accommodate and process an increased number of felons and misdemeanants during the Games; or (b) to upgrade those facilities that might be used imprison, however briefly, "foreign guests."

and yet, it's perfectly understandable why state media might not want to report on that. "China's enemies" would eat that story up, would they not?

Olympics Monies Used to Build Prisons in Beijing.

I'm sure Xinhua is wrong here. Bamboo strips from the tomb of a mid-Xia Dynasty magistrate indicate that he presided over an "Olympic Yamen" in around 2000BCE, well before those lying Greeks stole the idea off China.

I'm afraid that when I see the words "Village" and "People" written consecutively it brings a completely different image to my mind. Can anyone remember if one of the band members was a judge? I can only recall the policeman.

Will there be another press release coming soon to reveal the official uniforms to be worn by the Village People's Court special police?

Usually batting averages are written as three digits after a decimal point, with the initial "0" omitted, thus "batting .927" rather than "batting 0.93."

Hate to be one to spread misinformation, so despite what I've heard and read from pretty reliable sources about Beijing courts being ordered not to 受理 any home evictee compensation/ownership cases connected to the Olympics, someone of equal repute tweeted me and told me that they have seen such cases heard in courts in Beijing. No links on hand either way, however.

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