Tuesday, October 20, 2015

PLIGHT & PROSPECTS: The Landscape for Cause Lawyers in China

Courtesy of the Leitner Center for International Law & Justice, Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers at Fordham Law School, New York,  this report is divided into six sections: 

1. The first section provides an overview of the context of the report and the background to the research. 

2.  The second section provides an overview of the basic international legal framework governing the independence of lawyers. 

3. The third section addresses the background of the crackdown, providing a historical perspective as well as an analysis of the origins and triggers of the latest crackdown. 

4. The fourth section describes the specific government practices being used in the crackdown, including law-based measures to control and restrict the work of lawyers inside and outside the courtroom, and extra-legal measures, including illegal detentions, enforced disappearances, and physical attacks, and other persecution tactics, including direct harassment of lawyers and pressure exerted on their friends and families. 

5. The fifth section sketches an outline of the ways forward that these lawyers are exploring and the movement for the rule of law in China more broadly, and explains how both legal training and advocacy can help bolster the movement going forward. 

6.  The final section contains the Committee’s conclusions and a series of recommendations to the Chinese government, both in terms of changes to current practice, legislative and other legal reforms, and individual cases, and to the international community.

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