Suspended lawyers are not human rights lawyers: justice vice minister

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/8 20:33:41

Only a few individuals have been punished among China's 340,000 lawyers, and regulators should strictly regulate lawyers as well as treat them well, a senior official from the Ministry of Justice said on Thursday, in response to questions that the license of some human rights lawyers has been recently revoked.

"The license of individual lawyers has been revoked and we do not consider them so-called human rights lawyers," Xiong Xuanguo, vice minister of the Ministry of Justice told a press conference on Thursday.

Xiong confirmed that judicial authorities and relevant departments, including bar associations, punished some lawyers or revoked their license. "However, China has more than 340,000 lawyers and those punished are rare," Xiong said.

"We think lawyers are part of the legal cause. Doing business in accordance with laws and regulations are the basic requirement of professionalism for lawyers. The responsibilities of lawyers are to protect the party's right of action and other legal interests in accordance with laws. Lawyers should abide by laws themselves and conducting their profession in the range of laws," Xiong said.

"I support the judicial regulators' current drive to punish lawyers who violated laws and regulations. There are some unqualified lawyers who want to gain fame, hype their cases through illegal means. This behavior interferes with the judicial process, disturbs social order and hurts the image of the lawyer group," Chen Youxi, a lawyer from the Jingheng Law Firm in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, told the Global Times.

Chen said that China's judicial authorities should distinguish lawyers and protect the rights of lawyers who truly fight for justice and the interests for vulnerable groups.

Xiong also said that the regulator should strictly regulate lawyers, which also shows great kindness toward them. "Lawyers who violate laws and regulations should be punished, which would help protect the interests of the majority of lawyers who abide by laws and create a good environment," Xiong said.

Chen said that it is not right to say China's judicial authorities are "suppressing lawyers" since some black sheep need to be removed from the lawyer group and judicial authorities have taken measures to support true human rights lawyers.

"Some Western media have little knowledge of China's situation and the 'human rights lawyers' who they have been complimenting as heroes are actually notorious for hyping cases in China. They know little about good lawyers in China as good lawyers never promote themselves," Chen said.

Information on some lawyers being punished for interfering in litigation and illegally soliciting business has been released on the website of the Ministry of Justice since May 1, 2017, the Beijing News reported on Thursday.


Newspaper headline: Suspended lawyers are not human rights lawyers: vice minister


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