China's Embattled Lawyers
In the past two months over 200 Chinese lawyers and their associates have been detained – some have even vanished completely. The Chinese government says that they’ve been abusing their positions to influence the outcome of court decisions, and “breaching laws for personal profits”. The lawyers say that the crackdown is a politically-motivated attempt to discredit them and curtail their activities.
Less than a year ago the Chinese Communist Party held its annual plenary session, focused on a specific theme: the rule of law. That’s the idea that, among other things, nobody should be above the law, and nobody should be punished except according to the law, after a fair trial in front of an independent judge. But the Party emphasised that they would pursue a rule of law with specifically “Chinese characteristics”. What does that mean?
Join Owen Bennett Jones and a panel of experts as they discuss the state of the rule of law in China. Do ordinary people have access to justice? And how is the Chinese legal system changing?
(Photo: Activists protest outside the Chinese embassy in Bangkok. Credit: Getty Images)