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10.16.2008

The vagaries of access to justice

Today Harbin party committee, the local bureau for letters and calls and the office of justice issued the Implementation plan regarding lawyer's participation to the workf of receiving the visits of the masses (开展律师参与接待来访群众工作实施方案)

According to the plan, lawyers can assist petitioners in four kind of cases. The plan also dictates the concrete forms that lawyers' assistance can take.

However it seems unlikely that lawyers are ever going to challenge a decision made by local organs. Art. 4 par. 1 states that lawyers must keep conformity with the party and the government, besides observing all the relevant laws, regulations and - of course - policies (that's the word! Zhengce).

四、律师参与信访工作的原则

1.与党委和政府保持高度一致的原则。律师介入信访工作时,要严格按照法律、法规规定,以及党和政府的有关政策答复上访群众,认真负责地为党委、政府当好参谋,注意防止激化矛盾。
While Harbin tries to hold a firm grip on petition, today the South China Morning Post has published an article that once more recounts what may happen to above-quota petitioners. [Here]

Related topics
Picture: "Petitioner" (1978, by Li Xiaobin), [more on Xiao Chen's blog]

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