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English>>China Society

China Focus: Detention of "trouble-making" lawyers in accordance with law: legal experts

(Xinhua)    12:01, July 15, 2015

BEIJING, July 15 -- Legal experts and an official from judicial organs have defended the police detention of lawyers from a Beijing law firm, saying it is "good for the general legal practice environment."

Chinese police in the last week apprehended a group of lawyers it suspected of using Beijing's Fengrui Law Firm as a platform to disrupt public order, seek illegal profits and illegally hire protesters to sway court decisions.

But the move has brought criticism from some Western media, which said it is a step back for the rule of law.

He Yong, an official with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), which oversees certification and administration of lawyers, said Fengrui Law Firm's involvement in causing trouble and organizing paid protests has gone beyond the legal boundaries of the practice of law.

The detained lawyers have seriously violated the work ethics and standards of legal practice and are suspected of disrupting judicial proceedings and disturbing social order, He added.

"All people are equal before the law, thus anyone breaking the law should be held accountable. Lawyers are no exception," said He, adding that removing a few "black sheep" can benefit the whole legal profession.

According to Wang Jinxi, a law professor with China University of Political Science and Law, the suspects' attempts to pressure judges in organizing paid protests and fabricating rumors may have broken the law.

"Lawyers must abide by the law -- people's faith and trust will be upended if lawyers even slightly break the law," said Wang, adding that violations of the law may reduce lawyers' legal standing.

According to Chinese law, lawyers can be disbarred if they are convicted of disrupting court order, interfering with legal proceedings, instigating others to raise trouble, or making comments that threaten national security.

Liu Wujun, editor-in-chief of "Justice of China," a legal theory magazine, said lawyers' main battlefield is still in courts. "To win a lawsuit, lawyers need to study the law, rather than turn to methods such as Internet publicity and illegally organizing paid protests."

The development of lawyers means the advancement of rule of law, said He Yong, the MOJ official, while urging lawyers to fulfill their responsibilities legally. "The realization of the Chinese dream is not possible without participation of Chinese lawyers."

"China now has more than 270,000 lawyers, and a small bunch of lawbreakers does not represent the whole profession," said He.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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