Administrative trials are increasing, says official Legal action by the public against government officials has risen in the past six years, with an average of 100,000 cases a year, according to Supreme People's Court president Xiao Yang . Mr Xiao announced the figures on Tuesday at a national conference on administrative trials, which was marked by the presence of Politburo Standing Committee member Luo Gan and other leaders. Analysts said it was the first time a member of the Politburo Standing Committee had attended a conference on administrative trials and an indication of concern over dissatisfaction with officialdom. According to Xinhua, Mr Luo, the top official in charge of law and order said: 'The party and the country have attached great importance to administrative trial work. Administrative litigation plays an indispensable function in realising the rule of law, building a lawful socialist country and forging a harmonious society.' Peking University professor Jiang Mingan said the party hoped aggrieved citizens would opt for the courts, rather than street protests. 'The presence of Luo Gan shows the party hopes ordinary people can seek legal recourse, and that it supports them in solving their problems through legal channels,' he said. Zhao Daguang , a senior administrative trials judge at the Supreme People's Court, said the lawsuits covered all aspects of administration, with the most common cases last year involving resources, municipal construction and police administration, accounting for 52.8 per cent of cases. He said 24 of the 28 government ministers had been sued. Mr Xiao encouraged judges throughout the country to mediate between the public and the administration, even though the Administrative Procedural Law explicitly bans mediation. He also promoted the holding of trials in regions uninvolved with a case, in an effort to seek judicial impartiality. 'Especially on the mass disputes over rural land collection, rural housing relocation, corporate reforms, labour and social security and environmental protection, [judges] should mediate to the maximum extent,' he was quoted as saying. He said that a legal interpretation of the role of mediation in administrative litigation would be drafted to provide legal support, because the law currently forbids mediation in such cases. Professor Jiang, also a drafter of the Administrative Procedural Law, said drafters had disagreed with each other on the introduction of mediation when writing up the law in the late 1980s. 'Some believed the administrative orders were either legal or illegal; there was no space for mediation. But administrative lawsuits are on the rise, and mediation proves effective in reality,' he said. Mr Zhao said the plaintiff success rate in administrative litigation on the mainland was around 30 per cent, higher than in other countries, partly because there were more unlawful activities by officials.