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Wuhan Procuratorate Applied Blockchain Technology in Public Interest Litigation Cases

The People’s Procuratorate of Wuhan has introduced the cutting-edge technologies in public interest litigation cases. It is the first state legal supervision organ in China to use blockchain and satellite remote sensing technology in solving forensic problems in land and waters infringement cases, according to Changjiang Daily.

In an public interest litigation case, a portion of arable land in the Economic and Technological Development Zone of Wuhan has been illegally occupied. The procuratorate need to verify the accurate acreage and the usage of the occupied arable land. However, due to there is no relevant social accrediting body in this region, investigators can only obtained the evidence from the respondent and the data can be tampered easily.

In this context, Mu Shuqin, the deputy chief procurator of Wuhan municipal procuratorate suggested using blockchain and satellite remote sensing technology to obtain evidence.

The investigators went to the Procuratorial Technical Information Division of the Municipal Public Prosecutorare and retrieved 26 satellite remote sensing image maps of the involved plots at 13 different time points during January 2014 to April 2018.

These images use blockchain satellite remote sensing technology, visually show the entire process of how a green farmland has become hardened and whitened step by step and build over illegal constructions.

The investigators also find the area of hardened and whitened land still increased in size after the institute issued a prosecution suggestion a month ago.

“This (26 satellite remote sensing image maps) provides strong evidence for initiating of public prosecutions,” said Zhao Chunlei, the prosecutor of the Municipal Public Welfare Litigation Office. She also disclosed that this case had been successfully prosecuted.

It was reported that there are only 12 Smart Prosecution Innovation Research Institute United Labs in China. All of them were approved to be established by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

The Laboratory in Wuhan was set up in February of this year. It is the only one to conduct special research on the blockchain technology and apply this to procuratorial work. It has provide technical support in four cases of public interest litigation and provided satellite remote sensing pictures to procuratorial organs from other provinces for 10 times.

In the future, the innovation research lab is going to establish a smart monitoring mechanism based on blockchain and satellite remote sensing technology. Once it detected forest area is getting smaller, the usage of cultivated land changes, or the water area is buried or polluted,  evidence can be set to procuratorial organs automatically.

Mu Shuqin said Wuhan Procuratorate would apply blockchain and remote sensing technology in the Yangtze River protection process in the near future.

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