Zhengzhou Lawyers Association & Henan Lawyer’s Association Local Branch jointly issue “Notice on Strict Professional Disciplinary Norms for Lawyers’ Online Speech Conduct”

Thankyou to China LIS LAW & William Farris @ Stanford
The rules leave no wiggle room whatsoever and we’d suggest are designed to spell the death knell not just for human rights lawyers but any lawyer who seeks to represent clients  against the state , regional or local authorities.
On March 31, 2022, the Zhengzhou Lawyers Association (???????) and the Henan Lawyer’s Association Local Branch (???????????) jointly issued a notice titled “Notice on Strict Professional Disciplinary Norms for Lawyers’ Online Speech Conduct” (?????????????????????) on the Zhengzhou Lawyers Association website…
Parts of the notice appear directed at the kinds of garden-variety civil-rights actions that led to subversion charges for the “7.09” rights defense lawyers – and in fact several of those prosecutions related to actions that occurred in Zhengzhou (for more on that see Section 6 of “State Prosecutions of Speech in the People’s Republic of China” available at www.feichangdao.com.

Some excerpts from the Notice:

Individual lawyers are keen to use online self-publishing platforms to make inappropriate remarks about cases (events), disclose the facts of the case, sensationalize cases in violation of regulations, and even express nonobjective and improper comments on the Internet on major decisions and operations of the Party and the State, as well as social hot-button issues.
. . . .
1. Lawyers and law firms shall adhere to a correct political and public opinion orientation, and shall not publish the following types of remarks, articles or information through the Internet:

  • Contradicting the Party’s line, principles, and policies;
  • Denying the leadership of the Communist Party of China;
  • Denying the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics;
  • Inciting dissatisfied feelings toward the Party and the government;
  • Creating opposition between the Party and the masses and intensifying social conflicts;
  • Initiating, mobilizing, or participating in organizations that endanger national security;
  • Supporting and mobilizing people to participate in activities that endanger national security;
  • Using current political news, social events, and other “hot button” issues to take advantage to sensationalize a situation and affect national political security

. . . .
2. Lawyers and law firms shall not use the Internet  to handle cases in the following ways to influence administrative organs, supervisory organs, judicial organs, and procuratorial organs:

  • Coordinating groups, co-signing petitions, and publishing open letters;
  • Organizing online gatherings and solidarity actions;
  • Publishing or inciting or instigating the parties or other persons to publish misleading, false, speculative and other inappropriate comments on the case through the Internet, etc., to create an influence;
  • Maliciously sensationalizing a case being handled by oneself or other lawyers or law firms in order to create pressure from public opinion and influence the handling of the case in accordance with the law;
  • Other acts of sensationalizing cases in an improper way.

. . . .
Disciplinary action shall be taken against anyone who does not monitor the online speech and behavior of Association lawyers, and anyone who discovers problems but does not correct them in a timely manner, including warnings, notification of criticism, and public condemnation. If the circumstances are severe, disciplinary sanctions will be imposed with a suspension of membership rights. If the circumstances are particularly severe, the Provincial Lawyers Association will be advised to impose the disciplinary action of disqualification of membership in accordance with the procedures.
. . . .
Each law firm shall conduct a centralized study and discussion on this notice and relevant laws, regulations, and rules, and communicate the relevant requirements to each practicing lawyer.


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