Comment: What will happen to the judiciary when it meets with the blockchain?

At the moment, when it comes to Internet-related hot words, it is necessary to mention the “blockchain”. Since the concept of blockchain was proposed in 2008, this technology has been developed for more than 10 years. The decoupling, consensus mechanism and distributed accounting features of the blockchain are intelligent and extremely difficult to tamper with in various scenarios such as information management, supply chain management, copyright management, internet finance, and government administration. The application value of Zhongdu, especially in the judicial field, may become another practical application field of blockchain.

At present, the application of blockchain technology in the judicial field can be divided into two aspects. On the one hand, the litigants use the blockchain technology to achieve their rights protection before the litigation and litigation; on the other hand, the judicial organs themselves apply the blockchain technology to the litigation process. Judging from the application of blockchain technology by the parties, it is mainly reflected in the electronic deposit certificate. In the blockchain, the certificate of ownership, the equity certificate, the transaction process, the infringement, etc. are stored and obtained for evidence to realize the protection of rights. For the parties, the cost of using the blockchain to deposit certificates and collect evidence is relatively low. When they need to deposit certificates and collect evidence, they can be instantly discovered and fixed immediately, and the rights protection is easier to implement.

For example, in a batch of copyright infringement cases tried by the Beijing Internet Court, the defendant began to be tough and refused to recognize the infringement and required offline verification of the evidence. Afterwards, the court delivered the evidence materials through the electronic litigation platform, and the relevant evidence of the infringement was fixed on the blockchain depositing platform. At the same time, the depositing platform has also been developed with the “balance chain” developed by the Beijing Internet Court. Docking, the consistency of the evidence involved has been verified by the background. This means that the evidence has not been modified after the deposit, and the truth is very high. After receiving the evidence, the defendant took the initiative to contact the court and quickly resolved the dispute. Evidence has played a major role in not admitting the infringement facts and actively requesting mediation, and this role is inseparable from the letter-adding function of blockchain technology. For the security and credibility review of the depository platform that accesses the court blockchain, after the qualification review, system security test and evidence collection rule evaluation, the certificate-certifying platform that meets the relevant standards can be accessed. The evidence consistency is verified by the background, and the verification procedure is faster and more efficient. It not only promotes the efficient operation of the judicial process, but also enhances the professionalism of the judicial trial.

It should be noted that the blockchain industry is developing rapidly. There are many platforms for using the blockchain technology for depositing certificates. Although the underlying technologies use blockchain technology, not all depository platforms can be deposited. In the litigation, the above-mentioned effects are also taken into account, taking into account the factors such as the security of the depository platform, technical reliability, the process of evidence collection and evidence collection, the number of nodes, and the process of forensics. At present, there are also judicial precedents that do not recognize the evidence of blockchain preservation. It can be seen that not all blockchain depository platforms can achieve the effect of technical blessing. To solve this problem, it is urgent to introduce corresponding technical standards and management specifications. On January 10, 2019, the State Internet Information Office issued the “Regulations on the Management of Blockchain Information Services”, requiring blockchain information service providers to file records as required, perform safety assessments and cooperate with supervision and inspection, and deal with service providers. Complaints and other aspects have also been requested. However, for different application scenarios, it is necessary to formulate corresponding management specifications and basic technical consensus in combination with specific fields.

Judging from the application of blockchain technology by the judiciary, it mainly manages the blockchain technology generated by the data generated in the judicial process, and confirms and preserves relevant information through the blockchain, which cannot be modified, and plays to a certain extent. Enhance the role of judicial credibility. Taking the Beijing Internet Court as an example, the materials submitted by the parties through the electronic litigation platform are all deposited through the “balance chain”. At present, there are nearly 200,000 certificates, and more than 300 evidence files have been verified to realize the whole process of electronic data. Record, full link trusted, full node witness. The judicial blockchain of the Hangzhou Internet Court solves the problem of authentication of data “generation” through six dimensions: time, place, person, ex ante, in-the-fact, and after-the-fact. These are the specific applications of blockchain technology in the administration of justice.

We can also find that the application of blockchain technology in trials is closely related to the Internet trial model. For Internet courts that adopt the Internet trial mode, the cases under centralized jurisdiction have the characteristics of prominent Internet characteristics and suitable for online trials. The evidence involved is mainly generated and stored on the Internet, making it easy to use Internet technology to conduct litigation procedures. In the case of offline trials involving blockchains, defendants usually question the qualifications of depository institutions. The courts need to be present at the same time, and may even introduce expert witnesses to conduct on-site inspections of the electronic data extraction process. The entire procedure is complicated. Troublesome. Under the Internet trial mode, through node mutual trust and cross-chain verification, the online data is automatically calibrated through the system to verify whether there is tampering, assisting the judge to carry out the evidence identification, shortening the trial period and improving the trial efficiency.

In the long run, the decentralized trust mechanism, non-tamperable and traceable features of blockchain technology can open up a large application space in the judicial field and objectively promote the establishment of the Internet trust system. For example, in terms of evidence, from the perspective of the behavior of the parties, in the traditional trial mode, the fact that the parties do not recognize the authenticity of the evidence is very common. A higher proportion of cases will submit an application for appraisal, which is transformed into a strategy to delay the litigation to some extent. . Under the Internet trial mode, the parties have higher recognition and trust in the evidence verified by the judicial blockchain, and rarely apply for identification or inspection procedures. The litigant performance of the parties is more honest and the goodwill is higher. It is the result that the blockchain can be expected to be applied in the judicial field through the pre-rule, the full-chain participation, and the social organization's joint endorsement, and the fair and just rules are embedded in the Internet litigation through the power of technology.

Source: Guangming Daily (October 17, 2019, 07 edition)

(Author: Shegui Qing, Liu Shuhan, respectively, vice president of Beijing-based Internet Law, Justice Internet Beijing court)