BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) -- China's railway courts are now being integrated into civilian courts as part of reforms that are intended to help build a unified judicial system.
Railway courts handle criminal and civil cases concerning railway transportation, safety and property. They were operated by the Ministry of Railways in the past.
All of the country's railways courts will be funded by local finances and the appointment of relevant posts in such courts will be decided by local legislatures, according to a statement from the Supreme People's Court (SPC).
China created the railway courts in 1954 but eliminated them just three years later. The courts reemerged in the 1980s, when authorities created a three-tier railway court system including a Supreme Court in Beijing, 17 intermediate courts in local bureaus and another 58 lower courts. The supreme court was eliminated in 1987.
All intermediate- and lower-level courts have been integrated into the civilian court system as of June 28 this year, according to the SPC statement.
More than 3,300 staff and assets with a total worth of 7 billion yuan(1.1 billion U.S. dollars) from the railway court system were transferred, it says.
According to a judicial interpretation issued by the SPC on Monday, all railway courts will be able to accept criminal and civil cases in addition to railway-related ones starting from Aug. 1.