The People's Court of Hengqin New Area, Zhuhai(hereinafter referred as the Court) is located in the Hengqin Island of Zhuhai, which is an eco-friendly island with mountains overlooking the sea, an island near the coastline of the mainland and an island providing easy access to other parts of Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao. It is the only place via which China's mainland is connected with the Hong Hong-Macao Land Bridge. The overall planning formulated by the State Council of the People's Republic of China for the development of Hengqin has clearly stated that the island is to be built into a demonstration zone for exploring ways to create a new mode of cooperation between Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao under the "One country, two systems" policy. The Court was formally inaugurated on December 26, 2013 and, on March 21, 2014, officially began to perform its responsibilities of accepting cases for trial. The Court has 11 judges, of whom 8 are full-time judges and 3 are judges concurrently charged with administrative duties.
The proposal put forward by the Communist Party of China at the Third Plenary Session of its 18thCentral Committee to further deepen the reform of the judicial system has been of far-reaching significance for guiding and promoting the reform and development of the work of the people's courts. The Court, immediately after its founding, began to fully demonstrate its courage and wisdom in pursuing reform and innovation. Instead of clinging to the traditional pattern of formation of a court, the Court established a completely new operation model, including implementing a quota system for the number of judges, exercising classified personnel management, and streamlining administrative bodies, and holistically carried out comprehensive reforms in such aspects as the operating mechanism of the judicial power and the mode of management of the internal organizations.
With respect to the internal organizations, the Court has, in place of the traditional practice of having judicial tribunals, set up an organizational structure of "three offices, one bureau and one brigade", where "three offices" refers to the Judicial Management Office, the Personnel Supervision Office, and the Judicial Administration Office, "one bureau", to the Executive Board, and "one team", to the Judicial Police Brigade. This mode of organizational streamlining has helped to solve the problem of administrativization existing in the operation of the judicial tribunals and is more in line with the rule of the operation of the judicial power and the professionalization of trials, thereby contributing to guaranteeing the independence of judges in conducting trials according to law and to improving the efficiency of judicial administration.
With respect to the operating mechanism of the judicial power, the Court has abolished the system under which the court president and the chief judge undertook the examination and approval and emphasized the dominant position of the full-time judges in conducting trials and enforcing executions, thus truly realizing the essence of the reform aimed at "letting the judges judge and holding them liable for their judgments". The main innovation of the Court lies in three aspects, viz, firstly, the implementation of the quota system for the number of judges and the strict selection of judges to ensure that they are rich in experience and consummate in discharging their responsibilities and are of both professional competence and political integrity, secondly, the introduction of a system of Council of Judges to achieve democratic decision-making in the management of the Court and the self-management of the judges so as to mobilize the work enthusiasm of the judges and enhance the professional level of the management of trials and, thirdly, the establishment of a trial team, the implementation of a trial mode whereby the judicial power is concentratedly exercised by judges, thus effecting a thorough separation of the right to review from the right to enforcement.
Zhou Qiang, President of the Supreme People's Court of China, has pointed out that he supports the pilot work done by the People's Court of Hengqin New Area, Zhuhai and by the relevant courts elsewhere in China in their explorative efforts to establish a new model of court practice. The People's Court of Hengqin New Area, Zhuhai, which is thus charged with heavy responsibilities, will seize the opportunity of developing Zhuhai's Hengqin Island, closely center around the functional positioning of the Hengqin New Area, adhere to judicial openness, do a good of providing the people with judicial convenience, ensure judicial integrity and justice, actively implement the new work mechanism for trials, accumulate experience for the judicial reform, and strive to build itself into a demonstration court for the comprehensive reform of China's courts of justice, with a view to providing a powerful judicial guarantee for the all-around deepening of the reform in the Hengqin New Area.