By Gao Changxin
BEIJING, July 9 (Xinhuanet) -- A special Expo Court has settled 14 cases since Expo 2010 Shanghai opened on May 1. The court is a tribunal set up by the city's high court to smooth the settlement of civil and commercial disputes that take place in the Expo Garden.
The average processing time of the 14 cases - 13 of which were settled through mediation and one through judgement - is 25 days, significantly time saving compared with normal legal procedures, which typically take several months, said court officials at a press conference on Thursday.
The fastest mediation was wrapped up in one day, a rate rare among courts across the city, said Chen Xueming, head of the Expo Court.
The court, which was launched on March 25, is located in Pudong district near the Expo site.
Most of the cases stemmed from accounts settlement, equipment return and accident compensation in the wake of the construction work of the Expo site, said Chen, adding that "quite a few" foreign pavilions had been involved in disputes.
In one case involving the Sri Lanka Pavilion, the court helped the pavilion get back a 1-million-yuan ($147,000) down payment through mediation after a hotel reneged on a lease contract it entered into with the pavilion.
The court found that the hotel failed to provide accommodation in time because it had not passed fire inspections. The commissioner of the Sri Lanka Pavilion presented a silk banner to the court as an accolade for its successful and speedy mediation, which took only 18 days.
In another case, the court managed to broker a quick deal for compensation of a construction worker who was injured while decorating the Saudi Arabia Pavilion.
The worker was awarded 135,000 yuan as a one-time payment, which he received the second day after a mediation agreement was reached.
Despite the disputes, Chen said the number of Expo-related cases is still "at a low level". "The Expo has already seen 24 million visitors, so the 14 cases are just a sprinkle," he said.