Skip to main content

Another Perspective to Read the Picture of Lawyering for Change in China

  • 89 Accesses

Part of the The Indian Yearbook of Comparative Law book series (IYCL)

Abstract

Plenty of academic deliberation especially in the West has transpired on the journey and challenges as confronted by the Chinese legal profession and the exceptional struggles of Chinese public interest lawyers. This article aims to draw a general picture of the collective knowledge as developed through a data-driven and case-study analysis. Specifically, the article explores three key areas which are absent in the current literature: (a) applying Amartya Sen’s Idea of Justice to explain the political radicalization of lawyering for change in China; (b) an analysis of the challenges of rule of law building and its impact on the state–legal profession relationship in China; and (c) an exploration of alternatives through a case-study analysis on the possibilities to promote a sustainable role of the Chinese legal profession in legal reform and in serving the disadvantaged.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-16-2175-8_15
  • Chapter length: 37 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   139.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-981-16-2175-8
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   179.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   179.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Notes

  1. 1.

    Wu Hongqi, ‘Observing the Relationship between Professional Autonomy and Role Seeking of Lawyers in China from Three Angles’ (2008) 4 Western China Law Review (《西部法律评论》) 37.

  2. 2.

    William P. Alford, ‘Tasselled Loafers for Barefoot Lawyers: Transformation and Tension in the World of Chinese Legal Workers’(March 1995) 141 The China Quarterly, Special Issue: China’s Legal Reforms30–31.

  3. 3.

    ibid, 31–32.

  4. 4.

    Li Xueyao and Cheng Jinhua, ‘Structural Constraints on legal Change: Chinese Lawyers in the Interaction between State, the Market and Society’ (2013) 34(1) Social Science in China 58–77.

  5. 5.

    Sida Liu, Lawyers, State Officials and Significant Others: Symbiotic Exchange in the Chinese Legal Service Market, the China Quarterly, No. 26 (June 2011), 293.

  6. 6.

    William Alford (n 2) 38.

  7. 7.

    Li Xueyao, ‘Legal Professionalization’ (2005) 6 Chinese Journal of Law 13.

  8. 8.

    ibid, 14.

  9. 9.

    ibid 17.

  10. 10.

    ibid, 14.

  11. 11.

    ibid, 15–17.

  12. 12.

    Ethan Michelson, ‘The Practice of Law as An Obstacle to Justice: Chinese Lawyers at Work’ (2006) 40(1) Law and Society Review 1–38.

  13. 13.

    ibid, 12–13.

  14. 14.

    ibid, 13–14.

  15. 15.

    Ethan Michelson, ‘Lawyers, Political Embeddedness, and Institutional Continuity in China’s Transition from Socialism’ (2007) 113(2) American Journal of Sociology 352–414.

  16. 16.

    ibid, 354.

  17. 17.

    ibid, 357–359.

  18. 18.

    ibid, 359–364.

  19. 19.

    ibid, 364–397.

  20. 20.

    ibid 397.

  21. 21.

    ibid 401.

  22. 22.

    ibid 401.

  23. 23.

    Sida Liu (n 5) 276–293.

  24. 24.

    ibid 281–292.

  25. 25.

    ibid 293.

  26. 26.

    For example, Prof. Alford raised this concern in 1995: ‘If, as Parsons and other suggest, the function of legal professionals is to reconcile public and private interests, the absence of clear, broadly shared understandings of what these interests are at a time when the contents of the Party’s core ideology and of morality itself are increasingly open to contestation and manipulation leaves lawyers without more a highly personalized basis for framing such reconciliations.’ William Alford, 1995, 36.

  27. 27.

    Titi Liu, ‘Transmission of Public Interest Law: A Chinese Case Study’, (2008) 13 UCLA J. Int’ l L. & For. Aff. 263, at 284 <https://www.indiana.edu/~emsoc/Publications/Michelson_and_Liu.pdf> accessed on 30 June 2020.

  28. 28.

    Ethan Michelson and Sida Liu, ‘What Do Chinese Lawyers’ Want? Political Values and Legal Practice in China’ in Cheng Li (ed), China’s Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2010), 310–333 <https://www.indiana.edu/~emsoc/Publications/Chapter14_Michelson_Liu.pdf> accessed 29 June 2020.

  29. 29.

    Ibid 311.

  30. 30.

    ibid 319–323.

  31. 31.

    ibid311.

  32. 32.

    Sida Liu and Terence Halliday, ‘Political Liberalism and Political Embeddedness: Understanding Politics in the Work of Chinese Criminal Defense Lawyers’, (2011) 45(4) Law and Society Review831-865.

  33. 33.

    ibid 837.

  34. 34.

    ibid.

  35. 35.

    Ethan Michelson and Sida Liu (n 28) 354.

  36. 36.

    Sida Liu and Terence Halliday (n 32) 839–844.

  37. 37.

    ibid 861.

  38. 38.

    ibid 850–854.

  39. 39.

    ibid 861–862.

  40. 40.

    Eva Pils, ‘Asking the Tiger for His Skin: Rights Activism in China’, (2006–2007), 30 Fordham International Law Journal 1209–1287.

  41. 41.

    ibid 1223–1257.

  42. 42.

    ibid 1257–1285.

  43. 43.

    ibid1212.

  44. 44.

    Bochen Han, ‘China's Human Rights Lawyers: Political Resistance and the Law’ (The Diplomat, 11 February 2016) <https://thediplomat.com/2016/02/chinas-human-rights-lawyers-political-resistance-and-the-law/> accessed 29 June 2020.

  45. 45.

    Hualing Fu and Richard Cullen, ‘Weiquan (Rights Protection) Lawyering in an Authoritarian State: Building a Culture of Public Interest Lawyering’, (2008) 59 China Law Journal 111–127.

  46. 46.

    ibid 116–118.

  47. 47.

    ibid 118–120.

  48. 48.

    ibid 122.

  49. 49.

    ibid 121.

  50. 50.

    ibid 123–125.

  51. 51.

    ibid 127.

  52. 52.

    Hualing Fu and Richard Cullen, ‘Climbing the’Weiquan’ Ladder: A Radicalizing Process for Rights-Protection Lawyers’, (2011) 205 The China Quarterly 40–59.

  53. 53.

    ibid 43.

  54. 54.

    ibid 47–50.

  55. 55.

    ibid 42–43.

  56. 56.

    ibid 50.

  57. 57.

    ibid 53–54.

  58. 58.

    Rachel E. Stern and Kevin J. O’Brien, ‘Politics at the Boundary: Mixed Signals and the Chinese State’, (2008) 38 Modern China 2, 174–198.

  59. 59.

    ibid 177.

  60. 60.

    ibid 177–178.

  61. 61.

    Rachel Stern, ‘Activist Lawyers in Post-Tiananmen China, Law & Social Inquiry’ (2017) 42 Law & Social Inquiry 1 247.

  62. 62.

    ibid 236.

  63. 63.

    Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice (Published Penguin Group, 2009), at 5.

  64. 64.

    ibid 5.

  65. 65.

    ibid 7.

  66. 66.

    ibid 6.

  67. 67.

    ibid 5–6.

  68. 68.

    ibid 6.

  69. 69.

    ibid 6.

  70. 70.

    ibid 7–8.

  71. 71.

    ibid 7.

  72. 72.

    ibid 7.

  73. 73.

    ibid 7.

  74. 74.

    ibid 91.

  75. 75.

    ibid 91–96, 106–111.

  76. 76.

    ibid 9.

  77. 77.

    ibid 9.

  78. 78.

    ibid 9.

  79. 79.

    William Alford (n 2) 22.

  80. 80.

    William Partlett and Eric C. Ip, ‘Is Socialist Law Really Dead?’, (2016) 48 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 464.

  81. 81.

    China’s Constitution of 1954.

  82. 82.

    China’s Constitution of 1982 <https://www.npc.gov.cn/englishnpc/Constitution/node_2825.htm> accessed 20 June 2020.

  83. 83.

    Zhou Lian, ‘The Debate in Contemporary Chinese Political Thought’ in Fred Dallmayr and Zhao Tingyang(eds), Contemporary Chinese Political Thought: Debates and Perspectives (New Delhi: Knowledge World 2013), 34–36. Originally from Gan Yang, ‘The Road to China: Thirty Years and Sixty Years’ (2004) 6 Dushu 5.

  84. 84.

    William Partlett and Eric C Ip (n 80) 469–471.

  85. 85.

    Preamble of the Chinese Constitution (1982) last sentence of the eleventh paragraph.

  86. 86.

    Cai Dingjian, ‘Constitutional Supervision and Interpretation in the People’s Republic of China’ (1995) 9 Journal of Chinese Law 219–245.

  87. 87.

    William Partlett and Eric C Ip (n 80) 498–502.

  88. 88.

    ibid 502–510.

  89. 89.

    Henri Feron, ‘The Chinese Model of Human Rights’ (2015) 3 China Legal Science 95.

  90. 90.

    World Bank Country Director for China Mr. Bert Hofman's Speech at the 2016 China Poverty Reduction International Forum, 10 May 2016,  ≤ <https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2016/05/10/bert-hofman-speech-at-the-2016-china-poverty-reduction-international-forum> accessed 29 June 2020.

  91. 91.

    Kevin J. O’brien, ‘Accommodating Democracy in One-Party State: Introducing Village Elections in China’ (2000) China Quarterly 470–472.

  92. 92.

    Sabastian Heilmann, ‘From Local Experiments to National Policy, The Origins of China’s Distinctive Policy Process’ (2008) 59 China Journal 17.

  93. 93.

    Yun-han Chu, ‘Sources of Regime Legitimacy and the Debate over the Chinese Model’, (2013) 13(1) The China Review, Abstract, 5–23. He used data such as the 2008 Asian Barometer China which showed a 74% positive support of the CPC, see ibid 5.

  94. 94.

    Ethan Michelson and Sida Liu (n 28) 317.

  95. 95.

    India’s Constitution (1950).

  96. 96.

    Krishan Keshav, Constitution Law-I (Delhi: Singhal Law Publications, 2016)10.

  97. 97.

    Gautam Bhatia, ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ in Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla and Pratap Bhanu Mehta (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution (New York: Oxford University Press 2016) 645.

  98. 98.

    Reporters Without Borders, 2020 Freedom of Expression Ranking <https://rsf.org/en/ranking_table> accessed 2 August 2020.

  99. 99.

    Corruption Perceptions Index,  < https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2020/index/nzl> accessed 21 May 2021.

  100. 100.

    World Bank, Ease of Doing Business Report 2020, <https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings>, accessed 2 August 2020.

  101. 101.

    Ibid.

  102. 102.

    2020 WJP Rule of Law Index, China: https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/China%20-%202020%20WJP%20Rule%20of%20Law%20Index%20Country%20Press%20Release.pdf. Accessed on 2 August 2020.

  103. 103.

    2020 WJP Rule of Law Index, India: https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/India%20-%202020%20WJP%20Rule%20of%20Law%20Index%20Country%20Press%20Release.pdf. Accessed on 2 August 2020.

  104. 104.

    Amartya Sen (n 63) 93.

  105. 105.

    ibid 93–94.

  106. 106.

    United Nations Development Program, The 2016 Human Development Report, New York, 2016, 3.

  107. 107.

    UNDP, Human Development Index 2020, <http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/latest-human-development-index-ranking> accessed 21 May 2021.

  108. 108.

    Arun P. Mukherjee, ‘B. R. Ambedkar, John Dewey and the Meaning of Democracy’, (2009) 40(2) New Legal History 351.

  109. 109.

    Seema Chishti, ‘Biggest caste survey: One in four Indians admit to practicing untouchability’ (The Indian Express, 29 November 2014) <https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/one-in-four-indians-admit-to-practising-untouchability-biggest-caste-survey/?SocialMedia> accessed 29 June 2020.

  110. 110.

    Pratap Bhanu Metha, The Burden of Democracy (Penguin Books 2003) 46.

  111. 111.

    Granville Austin, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of A Nation (Oxford University Press 2009) 308–311.

  112. 112.

    Amartya Sen (n 63) 8.

  113. 113.

    Randall Peerenboom, ‘Varieties of Rule of Law: An Introduction and Provisional Conclusion’ in Randall Peerenboom (ed), Asian Discourses of Rule of Law: Theories and Implementation of Rule of Law in twelve Asian Countries, France and the U.S. (Routledge, London and New York 2004) 4.

  114. 114.

    William Alford (n 2) 38.

  115. 115.

    ibid 36.

  116. 116.

    ibid 237.

  117. 117.

    Titi M. Liu, ‘Transmission of Public Interest Law: A Chinese Case Study’, (2008) UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs 273.

  118. 118.

    ibid 269.

  119. 119.

    Robert W. Gordon, ‘The Role of Lawyers in Producing the Rule of Law: Some Critical Reflections’, Faculty Scholarship Series, Paper 1397, 444 <https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/1397> accessed on 29 June 2020.

  120. 120.

    ibid 443.

  121. 121.

    Hualing Fu and Richard Cullen (n 45) 55.

  122. 122.

    L. David Brown and Vanessa Timmer, ‘Civil Society Actors as Catalyst for Transnational Social Learning’, (2006) 17 Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 1, 9.

  123. 123.

    Xi Jingping, ‘Pushing Ahead With Reform Despite More Difficulties’, in Xi Jinping,The Governance of China, (Foreign Language Press, 2014) 113.

  124. 124.

    Michelson and Liu (n 28) 311–312, 327. For example, they find that there is a big variation for pursuing political reform between low-vulnerability and high-vulnerability lawyers.

  125. 125.

    Hualing Fu and Richard Cullen (n 45) 119.

  126. 126.

    Randall Peerenboom(n 113) 1–55.

  127. 127.

    Peter Tijpkema, ‘The Rule of Law Beyond Thick and Thin’ (2013) 32 Law and Philosophy 6, 793–816.

  128. 128.

    Gordon (n 119) 441–443.

  129. 129.

    Randal Peeronboom (n 113) 2.

  130. 130.

    ibid 4.

  131. 131.

    ibid 10.

  132. 132.

    ibid10.

  133. 133.

    Peter Tijpkema (n 127) 795.

  134. 134.

    United Nations Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies (S/2004/616, 23 August 2004) 4 < https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2004/616> accessed 29 June 2020.

  135. 135.

    Peter Tijpkema (n 127) 796.

  136. 136.

    ibid.

  137. 137.

    Peerenboom (n 113) 2–3; Peter Tijpkema (n 127) 800–802.

  138. 138.

    Gordon (n 119) 441.

  139. 139.

    Randall Peeronboom (n 113) 9.

  140. 140.

    ibid 11.

  141. 141.

    ibid.

  142. 142.

    ibid 4.

  143. 143.

    ibid 5.

  144. 144.

    ibid 37.

  145. 145.

    Gordon (n 119) 442.

  146. 146.

    ibid.

  147. 147.

    Thomas Carothers, ‘Promoting The Rule Of Law Abroad: The Problem Of Knowledge’ (Carnegie Endowment Papers: Rule of Law Series No. 34, January 2003, Executive summary, <https://carnegieendowment.org/2003/01/28/promoting-rule-of-law-abroad-problem-of-knowledge/95u> accessed 29 June 2020.

  148. 148.

    Sabastian Heilmann, ‘From Local Experiments to National Policy, The Origins of China’s Distinctive Policy Process’ (2008) 59 China Journal 29.

  149. 149.

    Haifeng Huang, ‘Signal Left, Turn Right: Central Rhetoric and Local Reform in China’ (2012) 66(2) Political Research Quarterly 292–305.

  150. 150.

    ibid 292–293.

  151. 151.

    ibid 293.

  152. 152.

    ibid 295–297.

  153. 153.

    Wenjuan Zhang, Comparative Studies on US-China Juvenile Justice Reform Initiatives (Law Press 2010) 124–126.

  154. 154.

    ibid, 126–127.

  155. 155.

    Ma Dong, Criminal Procedure Law Amendment and The Adjudication of Juvenile Delinquent Cases, Dec. 28th 2012, On Supreme People’s Court, https://www.court.gov.cn/shenpan-xiangqing-4927.html. Accessed 2 August 2020. For the English version of the law, see <https://www.cecc.gov/resources/legal-provisions/criminal-procedure-law-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china> accessed 29 June 2020.

  156. 156.

    Benjamin J. Liebman, ‘Assessing Chinese Legal Reform for The 60th Anniversary of the PRC: A Retrospective on the Chinese Legal Reform’ (2009) Colum. J. Asian L. 17, 106.

  157. 157.

    Li Yang, China’s Growth Miracle: Past, Present, and Future, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 3 accessed 17 August 2020.

  158. 158.

    Liebman (n 156) 17.

  159. 159.

    World Bank and Development Research Center of the State Council, the People’s Republic of China, Urban China: Toward Efficient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Urbanization (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014) Introduction <https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/18865> accessed 29 June 2020.

  160. 160.

    Karen C. Seto, ‘What Should We Understand about Urbanization in China?’ (Yale Insights, 1 November 2013) <https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/what-should-we-understand-about-urbanization-in-china> accessed 29 June 2020.

  161. 161.

    World Bank and Development Research Center of the State Council (n 159) Introduction.

  162. 162.

    In 2004, the number of migrant workers was 120 million according to the research of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, which is the predecessor of the current Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Guo Yue (on behalf of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security), ‘Migrant Employment and Labor Market Construction’, China News on Labor and Social Security, 30 July 2005. By the end of 2013, the number of migrant workers would reach 252.78268.94 million. There are several sources for the number of migrant workers: 268.94 million was released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security in 2013 <https://sd.ifeng.com/zbc/detail_2014_05/29/2347541_0.shtml> accessed 29 June 2020.

  163. 163.

    Qi Zhongxi, ‘90% of Migrant Workers’ Wages paid’, Sina News, <https://news.sina.com.cn/c/2004-01-20/08201629525s.shtml>, Jan. 20, 2004, accessed 2 August 2020.

  164. 164.

    Based on the statistics shown in the National Economic and Social Development Statistics (2003), published by the National Bureau of Statistics, net income per farmer is 2622 RMB (about $400). That also means even though it’s a small amount of money. For more information about Chinese farmers annual net income, see ‘Per capita net income of farmers since 2000’ <https://www.chinareform.org.cn/society/income/practice/201101/t20110123_59329.htm> accessed 29 June 2020.

  165. 165.

    Liebman, 103–104.

  166. 166.

    Yongshun Cai, ‘Social Conflicts and Modes of Action in China’ (2008) 59 The China Journal 92.

  167. 167.

    Liebman (n 156) 96–109.

  168. 168.

    Carl F. Minzner, China’s Turn Against Law’ (2011) 59 Am. J. Comp. L. 935, 935–983.

  169. 169.

    The case was provided by a local office working on Xinfang during the legislative research on regulating the former's rights to housing land in Beijing which was entrusted by the Standing Committee of Beijing Congress. The author’s access to the case was through her former experience working on this research project.

  170. 170.

    Eva Pils (n 40) 1224.

  171. 171.

    Hualing Fu and Richard Cullen (n 45) 43.

  172. 172.

    Zhou Yongkang, ‘Speech at the Sixth Lawyers Congress’ (14 June 2005) <https://news.xinhuanet.com/legal/2005-06/15/content_308es6577.htm > accessed 29 June 2020.

  173. 173.

    Zhou Yongkang, ‘Speech at the Seventh Lawyers Congress’ (25 October 2008) <https://news.xinhuanet.com/legal/2008-10/26/content_10257859.htm> accessed 29 June 2020.

  174. 174.

    Excerpts of ‘Zhou’s Speech at the Eighth Lawyers Congress in 2011’ (27 November 2011) <https://www.sdlawyer.org.cn/003/003/2012216906875.htm> accessed 29 June 2020.

  175. 175.

    Amartya Sen (n 63) 106–110.

  176. 176.

    Chirstopher. K. Ansell, Pragmatis Democracy: Evolutionary Learning As Public Philosophy (Oxford 2011) 84–101.

  177. 177.

    Amartya Sen (n 63) 110–111.

  178. 178.

    Ben W. Heineman, Jr., ‘Lawyers as Leaders’, (2007) 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 266 <https://thepocketpart.org/2007/2/16/heineman.html> accessed 29 June 2020.

  179. 179.

    ibid at 268.

  180. 180.

    Tom Bigg quotes Peter Padbury, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, see, ‘NGOs and the UN System Since the Rio Summit, Global Policy Forum, <https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/177/31815.html> accessed 2 August 2020.

  181. 181.

    Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), ‘Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme—A Handbook for Civil Society’(New York and Geneva, 2008) 90, <https://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/CivilSociety/Documents/Handbook_en.pdf> accessed 29 June 2020.

  182. 182.

    ‘Judicial Cost is Three Times of Claimed Amount’ (Beijing Times, 21 June 2004) <https://finance.qq.com/a/20050622/000130.htm> accessed 29 June 2020.

  183. 183.

    ibid.

  184. 184.

    The subsidy to lawyers who are appointed is very low. So lawyers are reluctant to do this.

  185. 185.

    Law firms usually assign inexperienced young lawyers to take legal aid cases. But most migrant workers’ cases require proficient skills for winning cases. For example, one reason is that the other party usually can afford high-profile lawyers. Even more importantly, in migrant workers’ cases, lack of evidence is typical.

  186. 186.

    Ethan Michelson (n 12) 18–19.

  187. 187.

    Tong Lihua and Wenjuan Zhang, ‘Promoting Professionalized, Specialized and Civil Society-Based Public Interest Lawyering Practice’ (2010) 3 Chinese Lawyers 57–58.

  188. 188.

    Tong Lihua and Wenjuan Zhang, Civil Society in China: A New Force for Equitable Development—Experience and Thoughts of Legal CSO, Report Series from the Governance for Equitable Development Project (Sponsored by the European Community and the United Nations Development Programme, 2007) 45–46.

  189. 189.

    ‘No Poverty Proof Needed in Applying Legal Aid’, Beijing Youth Daily, <https://news.qq.com/a/20060411/000490.htm> accessed 29 June 2020.

  190. 190.

    Article 11 of Beijing Legal Aid Act 2008: ‘For migrant workers who apply for legal aid in cases of unpaid salary and workplace injury, they are not bound by the poverty criteria’ <https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%8C%97%E4%BA%AC%E5%B8%82%E6%B3%95%E5%BE%8B%E6%8F%B4%E5%8A%A9%E6%9D%A1%E4%BE%8B> accessed 29 June 2020.

  191. 191.

    The first version of the Bill was drafted by the Zhicheng lawyers entrusted by the Beijing Bureau of Justice in 2007.

  192. 192.

    ‘Problems in Migrant Workers’ Legal Protection’ (11 September 2011) <https://news.qq.com/a/20060411/000490.htm> accessed 29 June 2020.

  193. 193.

    Based on an annual report to monitor law enforcement, Zhicheng advocated for the revocation of the labour arbitration system because it burdens migrant workers with further procedures without any real settlement. Zhicheng’ lawyer was invited to the legislative process by the National People’s Congress. Article 47 which mainly limits the employers’ right to manipulate the procedure was finally approved as a compromise was adopted into the law.

  194. 194.

    See, ‘Workplace Injury Cases for Migrant Workers’, <https://www.zgnmg.org/a/08yjbg/01yjcg/246.html> accessed 29 June 2020; ‘Annual Report of the Beijing Zhicheng Migrant Workers Legal Aid and Research Center’, <https://www.zgnmg.org/a/08yjbg/01sdltmdql/662.html> accessed 29 June 2020; ‘How Social Insurance Protects Migrant Workers’, <https://www.zgnmg.org/a/08yjbg/02sdltmdql/725.html> accessed 29 June 2020.

  195. 195.

    Hong Liu, ‘Exploring the Legislative Efforts for Getting the State Pay First System Behind the Screen’ (Legal Daily, 9 January 2009) <https://news.sohu.com/20090110/n261675868.shtml> accessed 29 June 2020. See also Zheng Zuwei, ‘Public Interest Lawyer Proposes Amendment of Regulations On Work-Related Injury Insurance’ (Public Interest Times, 6 June 2007) <https://www.law-star.com/cac/40009283.htm> accessed 29 June 2020.

  196. 196.

    Article 41 of Social Insurance Law 2010: ‘When a work injury accident occurs while the employer does not make work injury contributions as required by law, work injury benefits shall be paid by the employer. If the employer refuses to pay, interim payment shall be arranged from the work injury insurance fund. Interim payment for work injury benefits paid from the work injury fund shall be paid off by the employer. When the employer refuses to pay off, the social insurance agency may demand repayment in accordance with Article 63 of this law.’.

  197. 197.

    Implementation Rules In Need for Arbitration as the Final Decision, <https://www.zgnmg.org/2011/10/21/yicaizhongjuxinzhiduhaixuyaoxiguiding/> accessed 2 August 2020.

  198. 198.

    Tong Lihua, Legal Reform after the 18th Congress of CPC, (People’s Press 2015).

  199. 199.

    Wenjuan Zhang, ‘China’s Legal Reform under the New Leadership: Observations from a Public Interest Lawyer on the Front Lines’ (CORN, 15 October 2015) <https://corn.groups.politics.utoronto.ca/?p=561> accessed 29 June 2020.

  200. 200.

    Heineman (n182),268.

  201. 201.

    Ansell (n 176) 92. See also Malcolm K. Sparrow, The Regulatory Craft: Controlling Risks, Solving Problems, and Managing Compliance (Brookings Institution Press 2000) 218.

  202. 202.

    Wenjuan Zhang, ‘A Comparison Between the Brennan Center for Justice and Zhicheng Public Interest Lawyers’ (Brennan Center for Justice, 21 August 2015) <https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/comparison-between-brennan-center-justice-and-zhicheng-public-interest-lawyers> accessed 29 June 2020.

  203. 203.

    In 2009, they got former registration as Beijing Zhicheng Migrant Workers’ Legal Aid and Research Center (BZMW). From 2005–2009, they functioned as a legal aid office which lacked independent legal status but was approved to function by the Beijing Bureau of Justice. In 2011, the BZMW and its sister organization, the Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center, became the first two legal NGOs with special consultative status granted by the UN ECOSOC. China Development Brief has some introduction to Chinese NGOs’ consultative status accreditation, see ‘China Development Brief’ <https://www.chinadevelopmentbrief.org.cn/org0/active-7068-1.html> accessed 29 June 2020.

  204. 204.

    Many media outlets publicized its main achievement, even advocating this new kind of specialized legal aid model. The report was also on the UNIAP China’s website.

  205. 205.

    The full content in Chinese is available at <https://www.xmlsv.com/news/5.htm> (accessed on 31 July 2017).

  206. 206.

    According to the regulation, Beijing NGO cannot set branches in other provinces. It is very challenging to establish an association of NGOs in different provinces. If there is no legitimate name for the NGOs to get networked, it would be politically risky for their daily frequent interactions. The All China Lawyers’ Association could be a good umbrella to network the newly fostered public interest law NGOs.

  207. 207.

    For more information about the project, see, ‘China’ (UNDP) <https://www.undp.org.cn/projects/44355.pdf> accessed 29 June 2020. Also see, BZMW Justice Pilot (UNDP). https://ch.undp.org.cn/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&catid=14&topic=17&sid=321&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0 . On 28 November 2008, the UNDP Administrator Helen Clark visited the BZMW office in Beijing: <https://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90883/6826905.html> accessed 29 June 2020.

  208. 208.

    Linn Johananes F. et al., ‘Scaling Up the Fight Against Rural Poverty: An Institutional Review of IFAD’s Approach’ (2010) Working Paper 43, Global Economy & Development at Brookings, at 2. <https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/10_ifad_linn_kharas.pdf> accessed 29 June 2020.

  209. 209.

    For the full text of the Guiding Opinion, see <https://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2013-09/30/content_2498186.htm> accessed 29 June 2020.

    [210] Mingyang Liu, TongLihua: Collecting Unpaid Salary and Other Compensations at Amount of 600 Million, Beijing News, (1 August 2019) <https://www.bjnews.com.cn/news/2019/08/01/610169.html> accessed 1 August 2020.

  210. 210.

    ibid.

  211. 211.

    Beijing Zhicheng Migrant Workers’ Legal Aid and Research Center, Tenth Anniversary Report (11 September 2015) <https://news.youth.cn/jsxw/201509/t20150911_7105337.shtml> accessed 29 June 2020.

  212. 212.

    Deliang Xie, Migrant Workers Suing Labor Bureau of Daxing District Beijing, Beijing Star Daily, 20 April 2004, reposted by Sina Finance, https://finance.sina.com.cn/g/20040420/0848727222.shtml assessed 8 August 2020.

  213. 213.

    Ying Sun, ‘Collecting Compensation for Migrant Workers at Amount of 145 million RMB in Ten Years’ (CNTV, 11 September 2015) <https://news.cntv.cn/2015/09/11/ARTI1441971765950766.shtml> accessed 29 June 2020.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Wenjuan Zhang .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Zhang, W. (2021). Another Perspective to Read the Picture of Lawyering for Change in China. In: John, M., Devaiah, V.H., Baruah, P., Tundawala, M., Kumar, N. (eds) The Indian Yearbook of Comparative Law 2019. The Indian Yearbook of Comparative Law. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-2175-8_15

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-2175-8_15

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-16-2174-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-16-2175-8

  • eBook Packages: Law and CriminologyLaw and Criminology (R0)