Chinese Lawyers Call For The Abolition of Their Professional Body
Dozens of Chinese lawyers have written to the country’s parliament calling for an end to legal requirements that they join their professional association, amid an ongoing crackdown on the embattled legal profession.
The letter calls for the repeal of Clause 15 of China’s Lawyers’ Law, in a gesture of protest at the government-backed lawyers’ association that they say has been instrumental in putting heavy political pressure on its members.
“This clause seriously contravenes Clause 35 of the Constitution [of the People’s Republic of China], and the right to freedom of association,” the lawyers wrote, amid an ongoing crackdown on rights lawyers and their associates by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
“The registration of the so-called All China Lawyers’ Association (ACLA) [also] contravenes the law on social organizations, Clause 2, which states that they should be formed from the free association of Chinese citizens, and therefore was made in error and should be regarded as void,” the letter said.
Yunnan-based rights lawyer Wang Longde, who is among nearly 50 signatories to the letter, said the document would be formally presented to the National People’s Congress (NPC) by the end of the week.
“Right now we have more than 40 people who have signed, not quite 50,” Wang said. “In two days’ time, we will give a printed version of our opinion letter to the NPC standing committee.”
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