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Measures on the Display of Information on the Creditworthiness of Lawyers and Law Firms (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)

Article 1【purpose】 These measures are formulated so as to regulate efforts on the display of lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness information, to facilitate the public’s learning about lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness status, to strengthen societal oversight, and to promote lawyers’ and law firms’ practice in accordance with law and creditworthiness.

Article 2: [Definitions] Creditworthiness information as used in these measures refers to information that can reflect lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness status.

These Measures apply to efforts related to the identification, collection, aggregation, and display of lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness information.

Article 3: 【Display Platform】 The National Lawyer Practice Creditworthiness Information Display Platform (hereinafter the “display platform”) is the national unified portal for displaying information related to lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness to the public.

The display platform is to be established based on the National Comprehensive Information System for Lawyer Management (hereinafter National Lawyer Management System), and the displayed information is to come from the National Lawyer Management System’s database.

Article 4: [Basic Principles] Activities such as the collection, aggregation, and display of lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness information, shall comply with the principles of legality, accuracy, completeness, and timeliness; they must not disclose state secrets or infringe on commercial secrets or citizens’ personal privacy, and must not harm national security, public safety, economic security, or social stability.

Article 5: [Duties and division of labor] Efforts on the display of lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness information are to be carried out through overall planning, graded responsibility, management by type, incremental transfer to higher levels, and unified display.

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for guiding the national efforts on displaying lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness information, formulating related systems and standards, improving display platform functions, advancing connectivity and sharing between the display platform and the national credit information sharing platform, collecting and updating creditworthiness information that it or the All-China Lawyers Association creates during the performance of duties, and aggregating and uniformly displaying the creditworthiness information of lawyers and law firms nationally.

The provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality judicial-administrative organs are responsible for guiding efforts on displaying lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness information within the corresponding administrative region, collecting and updating creditworthiness information that they create during the course of performing their duties, obtaining creditworthiness information that is created by party and government organs at that level, aggregating creditworthiness information from all subordinate levels of judicial-administrative organs or that is reported by lawyers associations within the corresponding administrative region, and sending it to the display platform.

Judicial-administrative organs at the districted-city or county level are responsible for collecting and updating creditworthiness information that they create during the course of performing their duties, obtaining creditworthiness information that is created by party and government organs at that level and lawyers associations in the corresponding administrative region, and promptly and accurately aggregating creditworthiness information on lawyers and law firms in the administrative region and reporting it to the provincial level judicial-administrative organs.

All lawyers associations are responsible for using online and offline means to promptly send the credit information created and updated by that association to the judicial-administrative organs at the same level.

Article 6: 【Incorporation of Information Technology】 All levels of judicial-administrative organs and each lawyers association shall adhere to the principles of “putting that should and can be online so that that the entire process is online, operations are traceable, and matters can be handled at a single site”, to actively advance the full-service and full-process online handling of matters such as administrative permits, annual evaluations, awards, and complaint investigations, bringing about the automatic collection and prompt updating of data on the management of lawyers as quickly as possible, and aggregating it to the National Lawyer Management System in realtime.

Article 7: 【Scope】 Lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness information includes basic information, annual evaluation information, awards information, rating information, and punishment and sanctions information related to practice activities.

Article 8: 【Basic Information】 Lawyers’ basic information includes their names, sex, photo (lawyers may select whether it will be publicly disclosed, political affiliation, academic degree, practice type, practice institution, practice certificate number, whether they are a partner, their practice status, the judicial-administrative organ with routine oversight and management duties (hereinafter ‘regulatory organ”), the organ that issued their credentials, the date on which they were first authorized for practice, their title, primary qualifications, participation in the deliberation and discussion of government affairs, their firm’s address, zip code, and telephone number.

Law firms’ basic information includes their name, uniform social credit code, responsible person, partners, full-time employed lawyers, part-time lawyers, dispatched lawyers (displayed only at branches of the law firm), establishment assets, organizational form, practice status, years of establishment, regulatory organ, the organ that issued their credentials, the date on which establishment was approved, and their address, zip code, telephone number, fax, branches, and overseas branches.

Article 9: 【Annual Evaluation Information】 Lawyers’ and law firms’ annual evaluation information includes the evaluation year, status, and results.

Article 10: 【Award Information】 The display platform is to display information on commendations and awards given by county-level or higher level Party committees, people’s congresses, governments and their departments, political consultative conferences, democratic parties, people's organizations, or relevant industry self-regulation organizations, that is related to lawyers’ and law firms’ practice activities, including the name of the award, the decision-making organ, and the date of the decision.

【Rating Information】 The display platform is to display information on ratings and appraisals conducted on lawyers and law firms by lawyers associations and third-party establishments they entrust in accordance with regulations, including the subject of the assessment, the assessment grade, the assessment title, and the date on which it was given.

When judicial-administrative organs record award information and rating information, they shall simultaneously upload the related supporting materials.

Article 11: 【Punishment and Sanction Information】 The display platform is to display information on punishments and sanctions related to lawyers’ and law firms’ practice activities, including the type of punishment or sanction, the grounds, the decision-making organ, and the date of the decision.

Article 12: 【Upload Timing】 Information such as on administrative permits, annual evaluations, awards, ratings, and punishments and sanctions put out by any level of judicial-administrative organ or lawyers associations shall be uploaded and displayed within 10 work days of the date on which the decision was made or the information was formed.

Article 13: 【Information Sharing】 judicial-administrative organs shall establish information-sharing mechanisms with relevant units, promptly collecting information created by other units that can reflect lawyers’ and law firms’ practice creditworthiness status, and uploading and displaying the relevant information within 10 working days of acquiring it.

Article 14: 【Information Provision by Lawyers and Firms】 Where lawyers and law firms produce or modify practice creditworthiness information, they may report the information or apply for an update to the regulatory department through the back end of the display platform. The regulatory department shall complete a review and report it upwards within 10 working days, and the provincial level judicial-administrative organs are to update the information on the display platform in real-time.

Article 15: 【Creditworthiness Records】 Judicial-administrative organs shall place lawyers’ and law firms’ creditworthiness information that is collected through relevant channels under the subjects’ name, to form complete creditworthiness information records.

Article 16: 【Display Periods】 Lawyers’ and law firms’ basic information, award information, and rating information are to be displayed long-term, and annual evaluation information is to have the most recent five years of evaluations displayed. The display periods for punishment and sanction information are as follows:

(1) Where administrative punishments of warnings or simple fines are given, or industry sanctions of public censures, the display period is six months;

(2) Where administrative punishments of stopping lawyers’ practice or industry sanctions of suspension of membership rights for up to three months are given, the display period is one year.

(3) Where administrative punishments of stopping lawyers’ practice or industry sanctions of suspension of membership rights for between three and six months are given, or law firms are given an administrative punishment of a suspension of operations for rectification or an industry sanction of suspension of membership rights for between one and three months, the display period is one year and six months;

(4) Where administrative punishments of stopping lawyers’ practice or industry sanctions of suspension of membership rights for between six months and one year are given, or law firms are given an administrative punishment of a suspension of operations for rectification or an industry sanction of suspension of membership rights for between three and six months, the display period is two years;

Where there are administrative punishments of concurrent fines or confiscation of unlawful gains, add three months to the display period; where display periods are combined for calculation, they must not exceed three years.

The time periods for punishment and sanction information are calculated from the date on which the punishment or sanction decision takes effect.

The display of creditworthiness information does not stop during the period of collateral appeals, reconsiderations, or litigation.

Article 17: 【Updating Information】 Where the decision that corresponds to creditworthiness information recorded on the display platform is revoked or changed, the judicial-administrative organs shall promptly delete or amend the corresponding creditworthiness information:

(1) Where the decision that has been revoked or changed was made by a judicial-administrative organ or lawyers association, the decision-making organ shall delete or amend the corresponding creditworthiness information within 10 working days of the decision, and the provincial level judicial-administrative organ is to update the information to the display platform in realtime;

(2) Where the decision that has been revoked or changed was made by another unit, the regulatory organ shall delete or amend the corresponding creditworthiness information within 10 working days of receiving the decision, and the provincial level judicial-administrative organ is to update the information to the display platform in realtime.

Article 18: 【Information Errors】 The judicial-administrative organs shall establish and complete routine screening mechanisms to promptly screen for whether the information displayed on the display platform on the creditworthiness of local lawyers and law firms is lawful, correct, complete, and timely; and shall employ effective measures for prompt verification, supplementation, and correction.

Where lawyers or law firms find that there are errors or omissions in the creditworthiness information displayed, that it has been displayed too long, or other such circumstances, they may submit a request for correction to the regulatory departments and provide relevant supporting materials. The regulatory organ shall conduct a check and verification within 10 working days, and preserve, amend, or delete the related information, the provincial level judicial-administrative organs are to update the information on the display platform in real-time.

Where citizens, legal persons, or other organizations discover that the creditworthiness information on lawyers or law firms is incorrect or incomplete, they may give feedback through the “error correction” panel on the home page of the display platform or offline to the regulatory organs or lawyers association. Where the circumstances prove true, the relevant information shall be promptly corrected.

Article 19: 【Responsibility of Judicial-Administrative Organs】 The judicial-administrative organs shall fairly, objectively, and completely record the creditworthiness information that they obtain and display it after strict review and verification.

Where the staff of judicial-administrative organs do not follow these Measures to promptly and accurately record or correct creditworthiness information, or where there are situations of not displaying creditworthiness information that must be displayed, corrections are to be ordered; and where the circumstances are serious or it caused a negative impact, the responsibility of relevant personnel is to be pursued in accordance with law.

Article 20: 【Responsibility of Law Firms】 Where lawyers or law firms report false information, causing a serious negative impact, responsibility is to be pursued in accordance with law.

Article 21: [Implementation Date] These Measures are to take effect on XX/XX/2023

 

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