This article introduces the application of big data and artificial intelligence, including speech recognition of dialects and sentencing assistance, in the work of China’s procuratorates. It then explores the role of these technologies in assisting the work of procuratorates and discusses opportunities and challenges brought by these technologies. The article covers relevant official reports, academic papers, and an interview, in the hope of providing readers with more comprehensive and in-depth analysis.
Procuratorates’ Arduous Work
“Many Cases, Few Staff”
Traditional Methods for Handling Cases are Outdated
“Intelligent Procuratorial Work”
Generation of Documents and Speech Recognition of Dialects
“[…] it takes only five minutes to complete the entire process of handling a case: ascertaining facts, reviewing evidence, drawing conclusions, and generating a document.”
Big Data Evidence Chains
Opportunities and Challenges Brought by “Intelligent Procuratorial Work”
Opportunities: Increase in Judicial Credibility
Challenges: Various Problems Including Those Arising from the Sentencing Assistance Function
“If there are biases in the judgments of previous cases, one can hardly say that the sentencing suggestions generated by machines will be fair and just.”
Editor, China Guiding Cases Project
Chenchen Zhang graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from Tsinghua University, and is pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Zhang received a research grant from Uber’s headquarters to work on her master’s thesis, in which she explores the current status and implementation of child safety seat laws.
During her master’s program, Ms. Zhang has participated in an anti-money laundering research project run by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. During her undergraduate studies, she was an intern at the Beijing Representative Office of Simmons & Simmons LLP, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, UN Women, Beijing Qianqian Law Firm (formerly Zhongze Women’s Legal Aid Center), and other institutions. She also participated in several research projects covering various topics, including intellectual property and anti-discrimination law. Ms. Zhang has assisted the Hon. John Dowd, former Supreme Court Justice of New South Wales in Australia, in writing a report on child marriage in Bangladesh.
* The citation of this CLC SpotlightTM is: Chenchen Zhang, China’s Procuratorates: Application of Big Data & Artificial Intelligence and Related Opportunities & Challenges, 5 CHINA LAW CONNECT 65 (June 2019), also available at Stanford Law School China Guiding Cases Project, CLC SpotlightTM, June 2019, http://cgc.law.stanford.edu/clc-spotlight/clc-5-201906-others-6-chenchen-zhang.
The original, Chinese version of this piece was edited by Dr. Mei Gechlik. The English version was prepared by Annie Xinyu Li, Siyun Wang, and Shuying Wen, and was finalized by the author, Angelina Bishman, Nathan Harpainter, and Dr. Mei Gechlik. The information and views set out in this piece are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the work or views of the China Guiding Cases Project.