Washington Post Publishes Article: “In China, Justice in Reverse”

James V. Feinerman a professor at Georgetown Law School and co-director of its Asian Law and Policy Studies program has published the following article…

In China, Justice in Reverse  published yesterday in the Washington Post


Amongst other things he writes:

For several years now, however, there has been considerable backtracking. Setbacks in the rule of law have occurred in many areas. Most significant has been the systematic intimidation and prosecution of the few Chinese lawyers willing to represent unpopular clients in politically sensitive cases. Defense lawyers have been "warned," placed under house arrest or imprisoned on trumped-up charges. Some have even been beaten and severely injured as warnings to others.

Today in China, tens of thousands of incidents ranging from isolated protests to widespread riots requiring police and paramilitary intervention occur annually. These stem from the failure of the legal system to address unauthorized land seizures, illnesses and deaths caused by contaminated products, and environmental disasters that result from China’s rapid, unregulated industrialization and that affect millions of citizens. Absent opportunities for redress in the country’s tightly controlled lower-level courts, few peaceful alternatives to violent disturbances exist for airing grievances.

This year, the well-educated reformer heading China’s judiciary was replaced by a new Supreme People’s Court president who is neither a lawyer nor a judge but a former police official and party apparatchik. Only last week, activists were detained for using the 60th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to release "Charter 08," a petition recommending constitutional reforms to make the ruling Communist Party more accountable. Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned 20 months for joining students in the Tiananmen Square protests, was arrested for "inciting subversion of state power."


The article has been distributed by the China Law Discussion list