[QODLink]
Faces of China
The travelling court
A team of magistrates travel by motorbike to remote mountain villages in a bid to bring state justice to rural China.
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2011 14:40

Filmmaker: Zhang Wenqing

The Qinling mountains stretch over more than 1,500 kilometres in China's Shaanxi province - separating the north and south of the country. Many villages in the region, which is considered to be the cradle of Chinese civilisation, are located at high altitude, with some more than 3,000 metres above sea level.

The region has escaped almost all infrastructural reforms and many communities remain isolated. Yet, just as in any village in the valleys, there are problems that need to be dealt with.

In a bid to solve the conflicts that arise between residents of the villages, a system of itinerant justice has been created. Citizens no longer need to go to court - the court comes to them.

A team of judges travel by motorbike and, when their engines can go no further, by foot to their destinations.

We follow this travelling court as it investigates the case of a retired farmer seeking protection from his son-in-law, who he says is chasing him out of his own house, and a young woman filing for divorce. And when a four-wheel drive vehicle replaces the old motorbikes, we witness the changes taking root in even the most remote corners of Chinese society.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list