Editorial: Radical lawyers are making a mockery of the profession

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2015-7-12 4:32:26

China's Ministry of Public Security recently cracked down on a "major criminal gang," including the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, for creating trouble and disturbing social order. According to state media, some radical human rights lawyers have colluded with "petitioners," in the process stirring up several serious public opinion issues. They have severely disrupted the legal process. Last night, a report exposed shocking details of the groups.

The popularity of social media has given rise to radical lawyers. The "radical" approach is supposed to be conducive to promoting the rule of law. However, a handful of lawyers have taken their cases to the court of public opinion and not to the court of law. They intend to use public opinion to pressure courts, even organizing protests. Based on information revealed by public security authorities, several lawyers from the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm have gone too far in misleading the public, as in the Qingan shooting case. A simple case with clear evidence was turned into a nationwide issue, polarizing society and fomenting discontent towards the government.

In reporting this case, the foreign media highlighted the human rights lawyers' "loss of communication" and "disappearance." But the authority responded quickly this time with detailed information. "Lawyers' disappearance" has become a term to smear China's judicial system. 

Some lawyers have claimed through social media and the overseas press that China's law profession is in flux. That's an exaggeration. Among China's countless number of lawyers, those who have adopted this disruptive method are in the minority. They are suspected of promoting themselves rather than the rule of law. 

The rule of law is meant to maintain social order and uphold justice. It should promote social harmony, but radical human rights lawyers are intentionally creating conflict between the government and the public. Through false information, they paint the government as a "protector of evil," and law-breakers as "brave citizens."  Thus, the truth has been blurred as individual cases were portrayed as the "people's fight against tyranny," and promoted as "the real defender of people's rights."

China is committed to promoting the rule of law. Yet a handful of extremists are making every effort to discredit the government, and that the radical lawyers are the "good guys." This is no longer the rule of law, but politically-motivated provocation. It is regrettable to see a few legal professionals trying to obstruct the rule of law. If public officials are involved in a case, radical lawyers may appear to stoke public opinion. No country would encourage their lawyers to operate this way. 

Developing China's legal framework takes time. The "radical" spirit of lawyers shouldn't be completely suppressed, but Chinese society should never support the "radical" approach to discrediting China's legal system based on a Western political system.

Posted in: Editorial

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