The Primary People's Court of Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin is situated in the Hengqin Island, Zhuhai. Hengqin is located at the southern end of Zhuhai, separated from Macao bya narrowsealane but linked with it by a bridge.The Overall Plan for the Construction ofGuangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin defines the strategic positioning of the Zone as a new platform to promote the moderately diversified development of Macao's economy, a new space to facilitate the life and employment of Macao residents, a new demonstration area for enriching the practice of "one country, two systems" and a new highly-valued location to promote the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Time of Establishment
The People's Court of the Zhuhai Hengqin New Area, the predecessor of the Primary People's Court of Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, was inaugurated on December 26, 2013 and began to officially perform its duties and accept cases on March 21, 2014. The Primary People's Court of Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, renamed from its predecessor, was established in December 2021. At present, there are 11 judges therein, eight of thembeingfull-time judges and three of them concurrently holding administrative positions.
Reform & Innovation
Soon after its establishment, the Hengqin Court began to fully demonstrate its courage and wisdom for undertaking reform and innovation. It changed the setting mode of traditional courts, established completely new structures for the streamlining its internal organizations, the centralized management of its judicial administration and the classified management of its personnel, and comprehensively implemented the integrated court reform, including the operation mechanism of judicial power and the management mode of its internal organizations.
In terms of its internal organizations, the traditional practice has been changed, with no establishment of a trial court. This simplified organization mode has served to solve the problem of administratization in the operation of the trial court, which is more in line with the law of the operation of judicial power and the professional characteristics of trial. It is thus conducive to ensuring independent trials by judges according to law and improving the efficiency of judicial administration.
The subject status of judges has been emphasized and the judicial responsibility system has beenput into practice. In terms of the operation mechanism of judicial power, the Court has abolished the system of examination and approval by the court president and the presiding judge and highlighted the dominant position of judges in the trial execution, thus truly realizing the reform spirit of "letting the judge makethejudgment and the adjudicator be responsible". The main innovations undertaken by the Court are as follows. Firstly, the post system of judges is implemented, with judges strictly selected to ensure that they have rich experience and are professionally highly competent, with both moral integrity and talented ability. Secondly, a council of judges has been set up to realize the democratic making of decisions in court management and the self-management of judges, with a view to mobilizing the enthusiasm of judges and improving the professional level of trial management. Thirdly, a trial team has been established and the judge-centered operation mode is being implemented. The trial power is exercised by judges in a centralized manner, with judge assistants and clerks furnishing powerful assistance to judges in handling cases. And fourthly, the Court has put into effect the judicial responsibility system, taking the lead in implementing the lifelong liability investigation mechanism forthose whohandle cases in violation of the law, therebyenhancing supervision to ensure judicial fairness and integrity.
Efforts are made to strengthen judicial functions to serve the high-quality development of Hengqin. The Court has centralized jurisdiction over the first instance of foreign-related and Hong Kong-, Macao- or Taiwan- related civil and commercial cases in Zhuhai, actively exploring the reform of trial methods and serving the new pattern of comprehensive opening up. Based on the overall situation of national development, it has endeavored to improve the judicial guarantee capacity and issued guarantee proposals and trial guidelines. It has optimized cross-border judicial services, established a diversified dispute resolution center, built a "judicial service circle around the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area", formulated and issued special notices on litigation risks, provided "covering-all one-stop litigation services", and introduced online and offline integrated intelligent services. It works to promote exchanges and cooperation in the Greater Bay Area, selects jurors from Hong Kong and Macao, appoints mediators from Hong Kong and Macao, and recruits students from universities in Macao as judge assistants.
Persistently following the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the Primary People's Court of Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin has studied and carried out in an in-depth manner Xi Jinping thinking on rule of law, implemented earnestly the overall plan for Hengqin's development and, grasping the opportunity offered by the accelerated advancement in the construction of the Cooperation Zone, comprehensively improved judicial capacity, judicial efficiency and judicial credibility, in an effort to strengthen and expand the functions and role of the Court and provide efficient and convenient judicial services and guarantee for the construction of the Cooperation Zone.