A top economic performer among the provinces, Jiangsu is playing the right notes in eastern China’s legal market with the establishment of a third circuit court and other specialised tribunals. Sha Miao reports

As an integral part of the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, Jiangsu is among China’s most prosperous provinces, ranking the highest per capita GDP according to the Bureau of Statistics of Jiangsu province.

Jiangsu has been an affluent place since ancient times. The capital, Nanjing, was the seat of six dynasties that played an irreplaceable role in China’s history.

The province is surrounded by rivers and sea, which creates great potential for shipping, and being located next to Shanghai, Jiangsu makes the most of resources from the neighbourhood to optimise its industrial structure. Last year, its GDP reached RMB10.27 trillion (US$1.59 trillion), according to local authorities, second only to Guangdong among the provinces.

On the front lines

The legal market in Jiangsu clusters around Nanjing, and while traditionally serviced by local firms, an influx of national firms has been witnessed of late, especially after the Supreme People’s Court established the Third Circuit Court in the city in December 2016, and other specialised courts and tribunals such as the maritime and environmental resource courts.

The Third Circuit Court is among six set up across the country, and has jurisdiction in Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangxi – the main provinces and cities in the above-mentioned Yangtze economic zone.

These circuit courts are known as the “Supreme Court at people’s doorsteps”. As a result, according to a Supreme People’s Court report in 2020, the number of lawsuit-related visits to Beijing has dropped 71.8% compared to 2019, saving a lot of costs for petitioning.

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