1.18.2010

Legal representation - list of sensitive cases and activities

As I was reading Don Clarke testimony (Lawyers and the state in China: recent developments) before CECC, paragraph F caught my attention, because it mentions quasi-state authorities (bar associations) issuing rules that interfere in legal representation. Don's testimony mentions rules issued by the All-China Lawyers Association, Beijing Judicial Bureau, Henan province, Nantong Municipal Judicial Bureau, Shenyang, the cities of Yulin, Taizhou and Zhenning county.

A 2006 HRW report observes rules issued in Henan province, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Zhengzhou. Curious about what cases are deemed so sensitive as to require interference, I performed a quick search for more local rules. Here's what I found:

The following are considered sensitive
  • Mass cases involving enterprise ownership reform, acquisitions, auctioning (Zhejiang; Lishui - Zhejiang; Maojian - Hubei; Bengbu - Anhui; Shucheng district - Anhui)
  • As above, but related to the transfer or requisition of land (Zhejiang; Lishui - Zhejiang; Maojian - Hubei; Bengbu - Anhui; Shucheng district - Anhui)
  • As above: urban renovations and demolitions (Zhejiang; Lishui - Zhejiang; Shucheng district - Anhui)
  • Bankruptcy cases (Maojian - Hubei; Shucheng district - Anhui)
  • Layoff litigation (Maojian - Hubei)
  • Cases related to the "opening up of new markets" (Maojian - Hubei)
  • Cases related to major national, provincial or city-level projects (Bengbu - Anhui)
  • Cases which could affect foreign investment projects (Bengbu - Anhui)
  • Cases involving party-state personnel at the district (city, county) level and above (Zhejiang; Lishui - Zhejiang; Maojian - Hubei)
  • Criminal cases involving state security (Zhejiang; Lishui - Zhejiang; Maojian - Hubei)
  • Criminal cases involving so-called evil cults (Zhejiang; Lishui - Zhejiang; Bengbu - Anhui)
  • Compensation and litigation cases involving prisons, RETL institutions and other organs for the administration of justice (Maojian - Hubei)
  • Important cases involving foreigners (Zhejiang; Lishui - Zhejiang)
  • Cases involving Macao or Hong Kong residents, or Taiwan citizens (Maojian - Hubei)
  • Cases disturbing social harmony, stability etc. (Zhejiang; Shucheng district - Anhui)
  • Cases that can lead to collective petitioning (Zhejiang)
  • Organized crime cases (Lishui - Zhejian; Bengbu - Anhui)
  • Major criminal cases in which a not-guilty plea is entered (Lishui - Zhejiang; Bengbu - Anhui; Shucheng district - Anhui)
  • Cases reported by media at the city (county) level and above, in which there is disagreement between the parties' lawyers (Lishui - Zhejiang; Shucheng district - Anhui)
  • Cases of illegal fundraising (Lishui - Zhejiang; Bengbu - Anhui; Shucheng district - Anhui)

The following activities by lawyers are considered sensitive:

  • involvement in litigation as plaintiff or defendant (Zhejiang; Bengbu - Anhui)
  • being subjected to summons or other coercive measures (Zhejiang)
  • collaboration with non-Chinese legal practices (Zhejiang)
  • interviews by foreign journalists (Zhejiang)
  • involvement in activities taking place abroad (Zhejiang)
  • contacts with foreigners (Bengbu - Anhui)

I've posted the rules in case the webpages become unavailable:
  1. 关于印发《浙江省律师行业重大敏感事件呈报处置规则》的通知
  2. 茅箭区司法局关于成立茅箭区法律服务重大疑难案件指导委员会的通知
  3. 舒城县关于律师、基层法律服务工作者承办重大疑难敏感案件请示报告制度的若干意见
  4. 蚌埠市律师承办重大疑难敏感案件请示报告制度
  5. 关于丽水市律师行业重大疑难敏感事件及时呈报制度的通知
  6. 禹会区司法局关于印发《禹会区律师、法律工作者承办疑难复杂敏感案件请示报告制度》的通知