Pretrial hearings help courts to save time

Both justice and efficiency are boosted by the use of such hearings.

Pretrial hearings are proving an efficient way to filter out illegal evidence, in turn boosting justice and improving the quality of how cases are handled, Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court announced on Wednesday.

Since the mechanism was applied in April 2013, the court has opened more than 40 pretrial hearings.

Judge Zhou Qiang said defendants usually question evidence at a pretrial hearing.

“In some cases, they claimed they were lured, forced or tortured to make confession. And thus we will check their health conditions, demand monitoring videos from detention houses and cross-check the details of the confession,” Zhou said.

“So, we can avoid the trial being interrupted or suspended as we have been noticed and we have time to prepare and respond to their request. It is really time-saving,” he added.

“Previously, it cost several days to hear abuse-of-power criminal cases. But now, it only takes about three hours."

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