Once reviled as lackeys of the capitalist class, lawyers have not only come to enjoy high socioeconomic status, but are viewed as central to developing China’s market economy and the rule of law. At the beginning of the Reform Era, China had fewer than 3,000 lawyers, all employed by the state. Two decades later, over 110,000 lawyers worked in 10,000 law firms, most of which were private, primarily partnerships and cooperatives. As indicative of a new profession, although the number of law schools jumped to over a hundred in the 1990s, few lawyers attended law school; the largest segment only had a junior college degree in law.
Lawyers have both fed and taken advantage of a growing litigiousness among the populace, as lawsuits have become more common in the context of a weakening system of informal mediation in the workplace and neighbourhood. There has been an explosion of cases in contracts, intellectual property rights, consumer protection, foreign investment and trade, and family law. The legal profession, however, faces major problems.
Criminal defence lawyers have difficulty seeing state evidence before trial, are often not allowed to fully question witnesses, and are themselves beaten or arrested. Verdicts are commonly politically directed. Not surprisingly, few criminal defendants have counsel. Lawyers also often use bribes and connections to obtain favourable rulings. And although there were over a hundred foreign law firms operating in China at the turn of the century, they are confined to foreign-related legal issues and cannot represent clients in court or administrative hearings.
Alford, W. (2002). ‘Of Lawyers Lost and Found: Searching for Legal Professionalism in the People’s Republic of China’. In A.Rosett, L.Cheng and M.Y.K.Woo (eds), East Asian Law: Universal Norms and Local Cultures. London: RoutledgeCurzon.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lawyers — index bar (body of lawyers) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • LAWYERS — Introduction Although Jews were noted advocates at Brighegua near Toledo, Spain, as early as 1436, and though converted Jews were prominent lawyers in South America in the 17th century, Jews were generally prevented from practicing law in most of …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • lawyers — ➡ legal system * * * …   Universalium

  • lawyers — Luke s word for the scribes (Luke 11:45), who gave themselves to meticulous and dedicated study of the law, written and oral. Many were Pharisees (Matt. 23:13), but membership of that group was not essential to their professional legal… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • lawyers — law·yer || lÉ”jÉ™(r) / lɔː n. one who represents people in a court of law or advises them on legal matters, barrister, attorney …   English contemporary dictionary

  • LAWYERS — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lawyers Without Borders — is a non profit, Hartford, Connecticut United States–based organization founded in 2000, whose goal it is to engage the legal profession on an international basis. They support the capacity of non governmental organizations worldwide, advance the …   Wikipedia

  • Lawyers in Love — Album par Jackson Browne Sortie 2 août 1983 Enregistrement 1982 1983 Durée 35 : 30 Genre Rock Producteur Jackson Brow …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lawyers Alliance for New York — Infobox Company company name = Lawyers Alliance for New York company company type = Charitable Foundation company slogan = Connecting Lawyers, Nonprofits, and Communities foundation = 1969, New York, NY industry = Nonprofit Organization location …   Wikipedia

  • Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship — The Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship is a Christian organization in the United Kingdom that has a membership of some 2000 Christian legal professionals. With Christian ideology as a unifying principal their aim is to underpin legal practice with… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.